What Is Berberine & How Does It Inhibit Cancer Growth?

There is an inflammatory enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) that is abundantly expressed in colon cancer cells. It also plays a key role in colon tumorigenesis (new cancer growth). Therefore, compounds inhibiting COX-2 transcriptional activity (gene RNA replication) potentially have a chemopreventive property. Finding natural compounds to inhibit COX-2 pathways should prove exciting and promising.

In a recent study, an assay method for estimating COX-2 transcriptional activity in human colon cancer cells was established using a β-galactosidase reporter gene system. The study examined effects made of various medicinal herbs and their ingredients for an inhibitory effect on COX-2 transcriptional activity.


They found that berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid present in plants of the genera Berberis and Coptis from Oregon grape root and Bayberry, effectively inhibits COX-2 transcriptional activity in colon cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner at concentrations higher than 0.3 μM. These findings may further explain the mechanism of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promoting effects of berberine.

Our BerberClear (I personally take 1-4/day) supplies high potency berberine combined with alpha lipoic acid to help support optimal blood sugar and insulin levels, cardiovascular health, and liver health. Berberine is an alkaloid compound found in the roots, rhizomes, stems and bark of several plants commonly used in botanical and Chinese medicine, such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry, and Berberis aristata.

Lipoic acid is best known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to support healthy insulin secretion and sensitivity. It is also a key cofactor for mitochondrial enzymes involved in cellular metabolism and energy (ATP) production. Made with non-GMO ingredients.

Metastasis and angiogenesis is to be avoided at all cost. There is increasing evidence that two chemicals, urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in cancer spread and vascularization. Inhibition of u-PA and MMPs could suppress migration and invasion of cancer cells. Berberine reported to have anti-cancer effects in different human cancer cell lines by inhibiting u-PA and MMPs according to another study.

Autophagy is a relatively new term applied to the biochemistry of the cells. It refers to the body’s need and efficiency in cleaning up or taking out the trash. Trash may be described as the debris from dying cells, waste products of cell metabolism, and general extracellular detoxification. It is a necessary function.

Cancer patients may require an even heightened autophagy response – paying overtime for waste management. One of the hindrances that our immune system experiences in attempting to kill a growing cancer, is to plow through the waste that surrounds a tumor. Cancer, by definition, is rapidly replicating cells. This rapid replication produces a greater amount of waste that can form a protective barrier limiting T-cell and macrophage attack.

Enter autophagy.

There are a few things we can do to stimulate autophagy and more that can inhibit things that inhibit it. We’ll talk more about this but, as you can see on the chart below, several nutrients are stimulators – berberine and lithium to name a few. And, I have stated in several videos on the subject, inhibiting mTOR, a major growth pathway, is the best way to also stimulate autophagy. This is one reason why Curcumin is so beneficial to cancer patients.

What we use for cancer patient members:

BerberClear https://shop.connersclinic.com/products/berber-clear-60-caps

Get your copy of  Stop Fighting Cancer & Start Treating the Cause  or dive in to Dr. Conners’ Stop Fighting Cancer Course to learn more about how berberine inhibits cancer growth, about alternative tools, nutrition and other supplements for cancer.