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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 723093, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/723093
Review Article

Potential Benefits of Berberine in the Management of Perimenopausal Syndrome

1Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
2Laboratory for Technologies of Advanced Therapies (LTTA), University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
3Department of Medicine and Surgery Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Received 27 November 2014; Accepted 28 January 2015

Academic Editor: Angel Catalá

Copyright © 2015 Cristiana Caliceti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in women after menopause and 56% of all causes of death in Western European countries. Nowadays, with increasing life span, women spend approximately one-third of their life-time in postmenopausal state; therefore, the development of new strategies to improve the prevention and treatment of menopause-associated pathologies is important topic in clinical practice. The studies to assess the safety of hormone replacement therapy in women with estrogen deficiency have not been conclusive due to the relative contraindications; therefore, hormone replacement therapy is prescribed only in selected cases and for a limited time. For this reason, today women are encouraged to use naturally available compounds to prevent or to attenuate menopausal symptoms and correlated pathologies, with fewer side effects. Among these compounds, berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid derived from plants of the generis Berberis, has been recognized as being capable of decreasing oxidative stress, LDL, triglycerides, and insulin resistance and of improving the mood. This review describes the cellular and clinical effects associated with the use of berberine, which suggest that this molecule could be an effective natural supplement to ensure a smooth peri- and postmenopausal transition.