Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(5):1053-70. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500669. Epub 2014 Sep 3.

Effects of berberine in the gastrointestinal tract - a review of actions and therapeutic implications.

Author information

Department of General Surgery, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid present in several plant species, including Coptis sp. and Berberis sp. In traditional medicine, extracts of berberine are used in the treatment of diarrhea of different origins. Recent studies have shown that berberine and its derivatives have significant biological effects on gastrointestinal (GI) and other functions and may become therapeutics for the treatment of diarrhea, gastroenteritis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory conditions. This paper summarizes the current knowledge on the actions of berberine in the GI tract. Binding and target sites, activated intracellular pathways, as well as the absorption and metabolism of berberine are discussed. Effects that may be useful in future clinical treatment, like antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects are critically reviewed and potential clinical applications are presented in detail.


Berberine; Colon Cancer; Gastrointestinal Disorders; Intracellular Pathways; Potential Therapeutics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center