Weight loss product like Garcinia Cambogia are always in demand from those looking to drop pounds, but type 2 diabetes is a more serious problem as it causes millions of deaths every year.
Elevated blood sugar levels damage the body’s tissues and organs leading to a variety of health problems, poor quality of life, and shortened lifespan.
The most commonly used prescription drug for high blood sugar is metformin (Glucophage)
Berberine seems to work via multiple different mechanisms (12):
- Decreases insulin resistance, making the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin more effective.
- Increases glycolysis, helping the body break down sugars inside cells.
- Decrease sugar production in the liver.
- Slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
- Increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- This is just the tip of the iceberg. Berberine may also affect various other enzymes, molecules and genes related to blood sugar control.
In one study of 116 diabetic patients, 1 gram of berberine per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 20%, from 7.0 to 5.6 mmol/L (126 to 101 mg/dL), from diabetic to normal levels (13).
It also lowered hemoglobin A1c by 12% (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), and also improved blood lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides (14).
According to a big review of 14 studies, berberine works as well as oral diabetes drugs, including metformin, glipizide and rosiglitazone (15).
It works very well with lifestyle modifications, and also has additive effects when administered with other blood sugar lowering drugs (16).
Berberine Can Help You Lose Weight
These 2 Studies have examined the role of Berberine in weight loss.
In the first 12-week study, Obese individuals were given 500 mg of berberine three times per day. The result was about 5 pounds of weight loss, on average.
They also lost 3.6% of their body fat (17).
Another study of 37 men and women with metabolic syndrome went on for 3 months who were given 300 mg of berberine, 3 times per day.
Their body mass index (BMI) levels went from 31.5 to 27.4, or from obese to overweight.
They also lost belly fat and saw improvement in other health markers (18).
The researchers believe that the improved regulation of insulin, adiponectin and leptin hormones is the key
Berberine has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Native American medicine
With our heavy emphasis on corporate profits driven by man-made, patented medicines, we often are late in learning about natural products such as Berberine and Niagen, but rest assured you will be hearing about it more in the future.
Berberine is now being studied extensively and has been proven to lower blood sugar as well as the most commonly prescribed prescription drug metformin (1, 2), aid in weight loss, improve heart health, and several other benefits (3)
patients had improved strength, and had lower blood pressure with declining blood glucose levels
Here are just some of the things research is now proving Berberine is able to help with.
- Significantly Lowers blood sugar levels
- Aids in Weight Loss
- Improves Heart Health
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Decrease belly fat
- Improve Immune System
- Anti-oxident and Anti-Inflammatory
- Lower Blood Triglyceride levels
- Help fight Cancer
- Fight Depression
What is Berberine?
Berberine is the active ingredient in a several different plants that have been used in natural remedies for centuries, such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium), Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), and Chinese Goldthread (Coptis chinensis) (4).
An alkaloid, it has a yellow color, and has often been used as a dye.
How Does it Work?
When ingested, it travels thru the blood to cells and binds to several different molecules to actually change their function (5). This is similar to how pharmaceutical drugs work.
Berberine also affects other molecules in the cells, and is even though to determine which genes in the cells are turned on or off (9).
Berberine Lowers Cholesterol and May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Berberine has been shown to improve many of the factors that lead to heart disease.
This review (21) of 11 different studies show that Berberine can:
- Raise HDL cholesterol by 0.05 mmol/L (2 mg/dL).
- Lower LDL cholesterol by 0.65 mmol/L (25 mg/dL).
- Lower total cholesterol by 0.61 mmol/L (24 mg/dL).
- Lower blood triglycerides by 0.50 mmol/L (44 mg/dL).
Other Health Benefits
Berberine may also have numerous other health benefits:
- Cancer:These studies (26, 27) show that Berberine can slow and reduce the growth of several forms of cancer
- Depression: These studies with rats (24, 25, 26) indicate Berberine may help with depression
- Infections: These studies(27, 28, 29, 30)show Berberine fights harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites
- Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory: These studies (31, 32, 33) indicate Berberine has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
Overall, berberine is very safe with the main side effects being indigestion, and possible cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and stomach pain (10).
An average dosage used in many studies are 900 to 1500 mg per day.
Berberine has a half-life of about 4 hours, so you do need to take it more than once a day.
It is common to take 500 mg, 3 times per day.
If you have a medical condition, you should speak to your doctor before taking berberine, especially if you are taking blood sugar lowering medications.
The Bottom Line
Berberine is one of very few supplements that are as powerful as a prescription drug.
It has numerous beneficial effects, most notably blood sugar control.
It is also be useful for general health, fighing chronic disease, and anti-aging.
If you need some help controlling your weight, blood sugar levels or want to improve your heart and overall health, Berberine may be right for you.
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