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Clayton's Health Facts: Bergenin Monohydrate.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?

Bergenin monohydrate (C14H16O9 . H2O) is an isocumeric compound that is found in the Bergenia crassifolia (Siberian Tea), Astilbe thunbergii (Ostrich Plume) and Ardisia japonica (Marlberry Bush) plants. Isocumaric plants are found in many Asian and Indian plants.

Siberian Tea Ostrich Plume Marlberry Bush
Siberian Tea, Ostrich Plume, Marlberry Bush

What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?

Bergenin has been used for thousands of years in the Indian Ayurvedic medicine tradition to treat a variety of ailments, including obesity. Western science validates its use as an anti-obesity agent.

Ayurvedic medicine:
Ayurvedic medicine or ayurveda is a comprehensive system of medicine, more than 5,000 years old and based on a holistic approach rooted in Vedic culture. Its conspicuous use of the word veda, or knowledge, reveals its role in early Hinduism and describes its hallowed place in India. Ayurveda also had a tradition of surgery. Two early texts of Ayurveda are the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita.

While not directly stimulating thermogenesis, bergenin aides in fat loss and healthy weight maintenance by opposing the lipogenic action of insulin, and enhancing the lipolytic effects of norepinephirine.1

By preventing fat storage and stimulating fat burning, bergenin has proven to be an incredibly effective supplement for people looking to lose weight and keep it off. Not surprisingly, Bergenin is becoming a common ingredient in over the counter dietary weight-loss supplements.

Bergenin has shown promise in the fight against HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV causes AIDS, and Bergenin shows promise in the fight against HIV.2 How this may impact the progression of HIV to AIDS is not clear. Further research is needed.

Bergenin has traditionally been used as a treatment for cardiac and bronchial problems like asthma, but it has also been used less frequently as an expectorant, an anti-inflammatory, a protector of the liver3, and as a treatment for ulcurs.4

Who Needs It?
And What Are Some Symptoms Of Deficiency?

Bergenin is not an essential nutrient and no daily requirement (RDA) exists. No symptoms of deficiency exist.

Everyone can benefit from supplementing with Bergenin, but especially the obese, the moderately overweight, and athletes from all walks of life.

How Much Should Be Taken?
Are There Any Side Effects?

Strictly follow label directions.

Known side-effects include weight loss, and moderate increases in energy.

Consult with a physician prior to using any nutritional supplement.


  1. Norepinephrine-augmenting lipolytic effectors from Astilbe thunbergii rhizomes. Han LK, Ninomiya H, Taniguchi M, Baba K, Kimura Y, Okuda H. J Nat Prod 1998 Aug;61(8):1006-11
  2. Constituents of Ardisia japonica and their in vitro anti-HIV activity: S. Piacente, et al.; J. Nat. Prod. 59, 565 (1996) Abstract
  3. Antihepatotoxic activity of bergenin, the major constituent of Mallotus japonicus, on carbon tetrachloride-intoxicated hepatocytes: H.S. Kim, et al.; J. Ethnopharmacol. 69, 79 (2000) Abstract
  4. Antiulcer activity of naturally occurring pyrano-coumarin and isocoumarins and their effect on prostanoid synthesis using human colonic mucosa. Goel RK, Maiti RN, Manickam M, Ray AB. Indian J Exp Biol 1997 Oct;35(10):1080-3