Berberine and brain tumors

Posted by Annette @caquigg1, Jul 18, 2017

Hello everyone,
I am a 51 year old 12 year survivor of a brain tumor. Until last week I had a low grade astrocytoma, but now it has grown to an anaplastic astrocytoma (stage 3). I will begin chemo and radiation in a few weeks. Before this I was on chemo for a year from 2009-2010 and the 80mg a day of Temodar shrunk my tumor and it remained stable for the last 7 years. I am writing to share information that my sister and I have been reviewing about a plant supplement called Berberine. We have found hundreds of studies showing how it kills cancer cells and when using during radiation and chemo, it helps target the bad cells and keeps it from harming the good cells. I will be trying this with my treatment to see how it goes. I wanted to share so that you can do your own research and see if it might help any of you! 🙂

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Brain Tumor Support Group.

Hi Annette, welcome to Connect.
Thanks for sharing about your research into Berberine. Have you found any recent evidence-based studies in humans? I see there are quite a few early studies in mice and rats that show promise for further study.

I would like to invite you to also take part in these discussions. Your experience would be welcome.
- astrocytoma in cerebellum, need advice
- Recently dx with Anaplastic Astroctyoma - was your treament successful?


I took your comment about berberine to a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. She responded:

"Berberine is a chemical found in certain plants like goldenseal, phellodendron and tree turmeric. People use this for diabetes and hyperlipidemia where there is some evidence for its effectiveness.

I couldn’t find enough good evidence to support its use in cancer patients at this time. Some studies have shown that berberine can reduce the incidence and severity of some radiation-induced injuries. I found a study in lung cancer and abdominal/pelvic cancer. We would want controlled studies that show benefit without reducing the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy and radiation. You should work with your oncologist to see if they have any experience with this medication, but it looks like more, good quality studies are needed to prove there is an overall benefit.

From my research, the goal with berberine was to prevent side effects of radiation. Were there certain side effects you were hoping to avoid this time?"


I am hypothyroid and have blood sugar levels that fluctuate frequently during the day. Would the supplement Berberine, help stabilize my blood sugar?

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