The Therapeutic Effect of Berberine in the Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Meta-Analysis

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:3593951. doi: 10.1155/2016/3593951. Epub 2016 Jul 3.


Aim. To assess the efficacy of berberine in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease through meta-analysis. Method. We searched Embase, Pubmed, Cochrane Library, and so forth, until March 2016 for randomized controlled trials using berberine to treat NAFLD. Result. Six randomized controlled trials involving 501 patients were included in this study. The results showed that the efficacy of reducing TC, LDL, ALT, 2hPG, and HbA1c in NAFLD patients of the berberine group were significantly higher than that of control group. The subgroup analyses on TG, AST, and FBG indicated that treatment combined with berberine decreased TG level in NAFLD patients significantly. Compared with other drugs, berberine alone decreased TG level in NAFLD patients significantly. We also conducted a descriptive analysis on insulin resistance and radiography results that berberine can improve NAFLD patients' insulin resistance and fatty liver. Conclusion. According to analysis result, berberine has positive efficacy on blood lipids, blood glucose, liver function, insulin resistance, and fatty liver condition of NAFLD patients. However, due to the limitation of number and quality of trials included, more clinical randomized controlled trials with high quality are needed for further verification of the efficacy of berberine on NAFLD patients.