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Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 2772-4328
ISSN (Online): 2772-4336

Review Article

Berberine: A Multi-Target Natural PCSK9 Inhibitor with the Potential to Treat Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease

Author(s): Caroline Coppinger, Briana Pomales, Mohammad Reza Movahed, Meredith Marefat and Mehrnoosh Hashemzadeh*

Volume 19, Issue 4, 2024

Published on: 25 January, 2024

Page: [312 - 326] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/0127724328250471231222094648

Price: $65


Berberine is a natural product with a wide range of pharmacological effects. It has antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperlipidemic, neuroprotective, and cholesterollowering properties, among others. It has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for 3000 years and is generally well-tolerated with few side effects. Its main drawback is low oral bioavailability, which has hindered widespread clinical use. However, recent interest has surged with the emergence of evidence that berberine is effective in treating cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease via multiple mechanisms. It enhances insulin sensitivity and secretion by pancreatic β-cells in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in addition to reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1β, TLR4 and TNF-α. These cytokines are elevated in Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Reductions in pro-inflammatory cytokine levels are associated with positive outcomes such as improved cognition, reduced cardiovascular events, and improved glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Berberine is a natural PCSK9 inhibitor, which contributes to its hypolipidemic effects. It also increases low-density lipoprotein receptor expression, reduces intestinal cholesterol absorption, and promotes cholesterol excretion from the liver to the bile. This translates into a notable decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol levels are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. Novel synthetic berberine derivatives are currently being developed that optimize LDL reduction, bioavailability, and other pharmacokinetic properties.

Keywords: Hyperlipidemia, cholesterol, PCSK9 inhibitor, atherosclerosis, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, inflammation.

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