Berberine For Diabetes – Is It A Natural Alternative To Metformin?
Incidence of insulin resistance, obesity, and other metabolic diseases have reached massive proportions in our culture. The current popular glucose-lowering drug treatment, Metformin comes with some potential serious side effects. However, there is a natural Metformin alternative that can help the body efficiently process sugar, thereby being safer than pharmaceutical interventions. It’s known as Berberine. What is Berberine and Where Does it Come From? Berberine is a plant photochemical that’s found in several different plants, including goldenseal, European barberry, phellodendron, goldthread, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. It possesses powerful anti-diabetic properties, as well as being anti-bacterial and immune system enhancing. As well as diabetes it can be used as a treatment for a number of other health problems including hyperlipidemia, heart disease, and cancer. It can regulate blood glucose, increase insulin sensitivity as well as metabolizing fats (burning fat). Berberine has been widely studied, with nearly 1000 studies published on it in the last 5 years alone. There is a body of evidence supporting it’s efficacy in lowering blood-glucose and increasing insulin sensitivity for both humans and animals. However, Berberine is not a new discovery. For thousands of years the Chinese and Ayurvedic communities has been aware of the amazing benefits of Berberine. The blood-sugar lowering effects have been documented in China and India for hundreds of years. Although it was primarily used for treating inflammation, infections, and diarrhea, as diabetes was not as common then as it is now (1). A Natural Substitute For Metformin? However, as the incidence of diabetes has grown, the recent studies have focused on it’s ability to treat the condition. The studi Continue reading >>
Berberine Compared To Metformin In Women With Pcos
Wei W, Zhao H, Wang A, et al. A clinical study on the short-term effect of berberine in comparison to metformin on the metabolic characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012;166:99-105. Participants One hundred Chinese women of reproductive age who met diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance were randomized to the study; 89 completed the study. All subjects received advice from a nutritionist and were instructed to limit dietary fat and carbohydrates without restricting calories. Thirty minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day was recommended but not monitored. All subjects also received the antiandrogen compound cyproterone acetate (2.0 mg/day) in a combined oral contraceptive pill with 35 mcg ethinyl estradiol, taken in a cyclic fashion. Berberine hydrochloride, 500 mg 3 times/day (n=31) Metformin, 500 mg 2 times/day for the first week, then 3 times/day for the remainder of the study (n=30) Placebo tablet 2 times/day (n=28) Study parameters assessed Clinical, hormonal and metabolic assessments were made at baseline and repeated after 3 months of treatment. Clinical assessment included height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio. Reproductive hormone parameters assessed were total testosterone, sex hormone–binding globulin, and free androgen index. Carbohydrate metabolic parameters included fasting plasma glucose, fasting insulin, and 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test. The degree of insulin resistance was then estimated using various methods, including fasting glucose/insulin ratio, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance, and area under the curve for insulin. Lipid profile parameters included triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-de Continue reading >>
Blood-sugar-busting Berberine: A Diabetes Solution
Type 2 Diabetes (and its root cause: insulin resistance) is truly an epidemic in our society. Thus it’s only a matter of time before every practitioner has at least a handful of clients with blood sugar control issues. The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is absolutely reversible! Long-term healing requires a client to change their diet and lifestyle substantially. And, as you know, some of them just aren’t ready emotionally for that change. It takes time. But in the interim, these clients absolutely need help alleviating the toxic effects of elevated sugar on their organs and glands. As a scientist at heart, I am inherently skeptical of claims of seemingly “magical” effects of herbal remedies. Some are absolutely true, but many are overblown (just as we see with pharmaceutical remedies, marketing claims can be predatory and irresponsible). I want to introduce you, however, to an herbal solution that holds up very well to scrutiny: berberine. Like another herbal powerhouse curcumin, berberine is a plant phytonutrient, specfically an alkaloid. It’s been used for eons as a natural antibiotic. I’ve used it successfully in my practice to help people who choose natural treatment (as opposed to prescription antibiotics) for all sorts of unwelcome microbial infections…bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites. Berberine is extracted from a number of medicinal herbs, most commonly oregon grape root, barberry, and goldenseal (what you see in the picture above). But that’s only the beginning of berberine’s power. A couple of ground-breaking 2008 clinical studies found that berberine regulates blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes just as well as the blockbuster drug Metformin (and with no measured side effects). No, I am not exaggerating. In peer-reviewed studies in the med Continue reading >>
Berberine Is Superior To Metformin
New findings show that berberine has antiobesity effects and that … Metformin is a widely used first-line antidiabetic drug prescribed by doctors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, particularly in the overweight and obese. By Will Block A new review focuses on several studies showing that the plant alkaloid berberine can lower blood glucose as effectively as the drug metformin at similar doses (500 mg, taken 3 times/day), and perhaps even better in some ways.1 Berberine is found in Coptis chinensis (goldenthread), Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), and Berberis aristata (tree turmeric). Traditionally, it has been used for more than 2500 years in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, with growing interest in its effects in metabolic and cardiovascular disease in the Western world in the last decade. Berberine has a wide range of healthful uses that include cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial (it acts against bacterial diarrhea, intestinal parasites, fungal infections, Candida albicans, yeast, and possibly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Berberine for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 As we have already reported (see “Take This Dye for Diabetes” in the November 2010 issue), two recent studies (also covered in the recent review) show the effectiveness of berberine compared to metformin for type 2 diabetes.2 In the first study, 36 adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to treatment with berberine or metformin (500 mg 3 times/day) in a 3-month trial. The hypoglycemic effect of berberine was similar to that of metformin. Metformin is a widely used first-line antidiabetic drug prescribed by doctors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, particularly in the Continue reading >>
Efficacy Of Berberine In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
Go to: Abstract Berberine has been shown to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism in vitro and in vivo. This pilot study was to determine the efficacy and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetic patients. In study A, 36 adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to treatment with berberine or metformin (0.5 g t.i.d.) in a 3-month trial. The hypoglycemic effect of berberine was similar to that of metformin. Significant decreases in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c; from 9.5% ± 0.5% to 7.5% ± 0.4%, P<0.01), fasting blood glucose (FBG; from 10.6 ± 0.9 mmol/L to 6.9 ± 0.5 mmol/L, P<0.01), postprandial blood glucose (PBG; from 19.8 ± 1.7 to 11.1 ± 0.9 mmol/L, P<0.01) and plasma triglycerides (from 1.13 ± 0.13 mmol/L to 0.89 ± 0.03 mmol/L, P<0.05) were observed in the berberine group. In study B, 48 adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes were treated supplemented with berberine in a 3-month trial. Berberine acted by lowering FBG and PBG from one week to the end of the trial. HbA1c decreased from 8.1% ± 0.2% to 7.3% ± 0.3% (P<0.001). Fasting plasma insulin and HOMA-IR were reduced by 28.1% and 44.7% (P<0.001), respectively. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were decreased significantly as well. During the trial, 20 (34.5%) patients suffered from transient gastrointestinal adverse effects. Functional liver or kidney damages were not observed for all patients. In conclusion, this pilot study indicates that berberine is a potent oral hypoglycemic agent with beneficial effects on lipid metabolism. Go to: 1. Introduction Type 2 diabetes is a worldwide health threat and treatment of this disease is limited by availability of effective medications. All of the existing oral hypoglycemic agents have subsequen Continue reading >>
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Berberine Works But May Very Well Be Harmful
I have been getting a lot of email of late about the supplement Berberine, which appears to be the latest miracle cure being sold to those people with diabetes who believe that completely unregulated herbs imported from countries with long histories of food and drug adulteration are somehow safer and "more natural" than the tightly regulated pharamceuticals. Berberine does appear to work to lower blood sugar. The problem is that we really know very little about how it does it or what its long term effects are on the body. I see many mentions on sites promoting berberine supplements of the fact that berberine has a long history of use in Chinese medicine. However, quite a few of the traditional Chinese herbs have turned out to be highly toxic, and it's worth noting that the incidence of kidney and other urinary tract cancer among Chinese herbalists is far greater than that of the population at large. (Details HERE) You can lower blood sugar by damaging your liver as happens with severe alcoholism. You can lower blood sugar with drugs that raise the likelihood of heart attack, as is the case with most sulfonylurea drugs. (Details HERE) You can lower blood sugar with drugs that over time damage the pancreas as is the case with the incretin drugs.(Details HERE) And you can lower blood sugar by taking drugs that turn bone precursor cells into fat cell, as happens with Avandia and Actos, which, over a decade of use of these drugs can lead to your developing bones so brittle that they are prone to breaking. (Details HERE) Many of these severe, life-ruining side effects did not show up until people had taken these drugs for five to ten years. So the fact that a drug lowers blood sugar for three months in a small population without major harm tells you nothing about its actual s Continue reading >>