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Metformin vs Berberine for Diabetes (Plus this yellow herb lowers blood pressure, fights parasites, and more)

By: Cat Ebeling, co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

Type 2 diabetes is fast becoming a real epidemic in civilized countries. The statistics show an ever-increasing trend of obesity, diabetes and its related complications like heart disease, kidney disease and peripheral neuropathy. Many experts are convinced that this fast-growing tidal wave of diabetes is the result of the global expansion of sugar, sugary soft drinks and major food corporations getting people addicted to terrible processed foods that are cheaper than most healthy foods and are heavily advertised to the masses.

However, type 2 diabetes has the potential to be completely reversed following dietary and lifestyle changes that dramatically reduce or eliminate sugar and starches.

Relying on lowering blood sugar with medication or insulin will not improve one’s health, nor will it counteract the effects of diabetes. In fact, relying on medications to lower blood sugar actually does NOT reduce the risk of death from any of the related health complications of diabetes of stroke, heart attacks, infections, and kidney disease. Aside from the fact that diabetes drugs do not actually do anything positive for a diabetic’s health, there are many negative side effects, many of which can be downright deadly.

In one large study, called the ACCORD study, that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, the 10,000 patients who were being treated with insulin or blood sugar-lowering drugs were monitored and evaluated for their risk of heart attack, strokes and death. The National Institutes of Health ended the study early because the medical intervention was leading to MORE deaths, heart attacks, and strokes.

Many of the conventional medical methods for lowering blood sugar actually increase insulin levels, which in turn causes more harm overall. Avandia, one of the world’s best-selling diabetes drugs, has over 50,000 lawsuits filed in the United States alone, because the drug makers failed to inform patients about possible life-threatening side-effects that include stroke, heart failure, heart attack, bone fractures, vision loss and death.

While many of these drugs do lower blood glucose levels, there seems to be no real evidence that any of the diabetes drugs actually reduce the risk of the complications of diabetes.

Most diabetes medications aim to increase insulin in the body to counteract the ever-rising levels of glucose. One of the big issues with this conventional treatment is the negative side effects that actually seem to exacerbate the complications of diabetes. Below is a list of most used diabetes meds and their primary side effects:

  • Metformin — Metformin increases insulin sensitivity. Metformin also lowers glucose production in the liver. Side effects include nausea and diarrhea, and weight gain. Another significant, documented side effect of Metformin is Vitamin B12 depletion, further increasing the chances of neuropathy.
  • Sulfonylureas—This class of medications help your body secrete more insulin. Side effects include low blood sugar and weight gain.
  • Meglitinides – These medications stimulate the pancreas to secrete more insulin. Side effects include low blood sugar and weight gain.
  • Thiazolidinediones – Like metformin, these medications make the body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin. This class of medications has been linked to weight gain and increased risk of heart failure and fractures. Rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) are examples of thiazolidinediones.
  • SGLT2 inhibitors. They prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood. Instead, the sugar is excreted in the urine. Side effects may include yeast infections, urinary tract infections, increased urination and hypotension.
  • Insulin therapy. Some people need insulin therapy as well. Insulin lowers blood glucose and is a fat storing hormone, so it causes weight gain. Insulin promotes inflammation in the body when used in excess, causes hormone imbalance and increases body fat storage.

Keep in mind, however, that while most of these diabetes medications may lower blood sugar levels, increase insulin, or make the body more sensitive to insulin, they still do not prevent the serious and life-threatening complications of diabetes: High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, poor sex drive, infertility, blood clots, kidney failure, infections and amputations, cancer, depression, heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s, and more.

Insulin treatment also creates a greater susceptibility to cancer. The connection between diabetes and cancer is fairly clear—in fact, several studies have shown up to a 30% great likelihood that diabetic patients on supplemental insulin can develop colon, breast or prostate cancers.

Berberine for Type 2 Diabetes Shown to be as Effective as Diabetes Medication

There are a few natural solutions to helping to treat type 2 diabetes, and berberine is one that has a strong background of being especially effective for type 2 diabetes.

Berberine is a powerful plant extract with several impressive health benefits. It can effectively lower blood sugar, help with weight loss and improve heart health—two things that most pharmaceutical diabetic medications cannot do. It is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and is effective against diarrhea, intestinal parasites, Candida albicans, and possibly Methicillin-resistant staph aureus.

Berberine works to:

  • Decrease insulin resistance, making the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin more effective.
  • Increase glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose inside cells.
  • Decrease glucose production in the liver.
  • Slow the digestion of carbohydrates.
  • Increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Berberine is a bioactive plant extract that comes from several different types of plants, including goldthread, Oregon grape root, barberry, tree turmeric and goldenseal. It has been used in both Ayruvedic and Chinese medicine for more than 2500 years and is now being used and studied extensively in the modern world.

Several impressive studies show that berberine can lower blood glucose as effectively as the drug metformin, without the negative side effects. Two of the best-known peer-reviewed studies published in the journals Metabolism and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology compared berberine in one group to metformin (Glucophage) in another group. The berberine group had very similar blood sugar-lowering effects as the metformin group. In addition, the berberine also effectively reduced the patients’ A1C, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure… Three things that metformin cannot do!

  • Hemoglobin A1c decreased from 9.5% to 7.5% (about a 21% reduction)
  • Fasting blood glucose (FBG) decreased from 190.8 to 124.2 mg/dl
  • Postprandial blood glucose (PBG) decreased from 356.4 to 199.8 mg/dl
  • Triglycerides from 100.5 to 79.2 mg/dl

Berberine works by stimulating uptake of glucose into the cells, improves insulin sensitivity, and reducing glucose production in the liver. This review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology further expanded on berberine’s role in treating type diabetes:

            “BBR [berberine] is used to treat diabetic nephropathy (DPN), diabetic neuropathy (DN), and diabetic cardiomyopathy due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”

How does berberine work?

Berberine works by activating a metabolism-regulating enzyme within the body’s cells called AMPK (adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase).  Yes, that’s a mouthful! AMPK regulates a variety of biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances. Think of AMPK as your metabolic master switch. Definitely something you want to keep switched to ‘ON’!

Metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes, occurs when these AMPK pathways are switched off. This triggers high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and energy issues. AMPK shifts energy to cellular repair and maintenance. Activating AMPK produces similar benefits for diabetes and metabolic syndrome as exercise, dieting and weight loss.

Berberine and Weight Loss

When overweight adults took 500mg of berberine 3 times daily for 12 weeks, they easily lost an average of 5 pounds. The researchers note that,

“…berberine has potential clinical application in reducing visceral fat and controlling obesity.”

Berberine has the ability to inhibit fat storage and also improves insulin function, leptin and adiponectin. Leptin is a very powerful hormone produced by fat cells. It tells your brain whether you should eat or not. Leptin is the way your fat cells speak to your brain. If Leptin signaling is working, when fat stores are full, they cause a surge in leptin which tells your brain to stop eating and storing fat. The problem is of course, when this signaling goes awry, it causes excessive eating and fat storage.

Adonipectin is a hormone secreted by fat cells that helps control glucose regulation and fatty acid oxidation. Obese people are often low in adonipectin, but berberine helps to increase adonipectin which helps to normalize metabolic function.

So, the bottom line here is that berberine could reduce the size of your fat cells and cut down on the number of them as well.

Berberine is also thought to enhance brown fat, which is a heat-generating special type of fat that burns energy instead of storing it. It is loaded with active mitochondria cells that convert this fat into energy which produces heat. This animal study shows how berberine increases energy expenditure, helps burn fat, improves cold tolerance and enhances active brown adipose tissue.

Berberine for Memory and Cognitive Function

Blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and diabetes go hand in hand with memory and cognitive dysfunction. In fact, it is now thought that high blood sugar and diabetes are connected to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Berberine has been found to enhance memory function in some animal studies, by preserving a brain chemical, acetylcholine, that is important for memory, focus and cognition. The result for berberine was improved learning and memory, along with lower oxidative stress.

How to take Berberine

According to Dr. Josh Axe, berberine should be taken two to three times a day. Generally, most studies have used safe dosages starting at 500 mg a dose. So, 500 mg two to three times a day is a good place to start. Take berberine with a meal or on a full stomach to avoid any stomach upset and to take advantage of the post meal glucose and lipid spike that often occurs. It is best to start with just one dose/day and increase slowly to ensure they can stay in control.

When you take berberine, please note that insulin may need to be cut back significantly, so monitor blood sugar frequently.  Many diabetics have been able to totally stop their other pharmaceutical diabetes medications, with the inclusion of berberine. Be sure to monitor blood sugar regularly and consult your physician. Look for a berberine product with a standardized berberine extract so that the dosages and strength are consistent.

Berberine Side Effects

If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, including antibiotics, then it is highly recommended that you speak to your doctor. This is especially important if you are currently taking blood sugar-lowering medications, so that your physician can monitor your blood sugar and current medication levels.

Diabetics who are using other medications must use caution when using this supplement to avoid dangerously low blood sugar levels. People with low blood pressure should also be careful when using it since it can naturally lower blood pressure. Pregnant and nursing women should not take berberine.

Overall, this natural compound has an outstanding safety profile. Primary side effects are minor, but could result in some cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation or mild stomach pain. Stay with the smaller dosages — spread out through your day and after meals — to avoid most of these side effects.

In addition to its huge benefits for diabetes, berberine is helpful for other health issues as well including:

  • Anti-aging
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immune challenges
  • Joint problems
  • Low bone density

Stay tuned for more info on berberine, as there are many ongoing studies on its effectiveness as a powerful natural health aid.

Speaking of Diabetes, make sure to read this page next:

1 Simple trick to REVERSE your Diabetes (this also helps reduce abdominal fat)

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References
https://draxe.com/berberine/
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms6493
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/22/berberine-benefits.aspx
http://www.life-enhancement.com/magazine/article/2439-berberine-is-superior-to-metformin
https://www.schoolafm.com/ws_clinical_know/blood-sugar-busting-berberine/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839379/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03029390
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351199

About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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45 comments

  1. How do you buy Berberine, and is it available in Australia. I am 81 years of age and mu blood sugars are rather high even though I take two 500 mgs of metformin everyday, plus Januvia half tablet at night.

    • Gus,
      I am diabetic and was going through the medical system. I started to do research on this disease and I found out that diet is critical to completely turn your health around. If you really want to help your body to get its health back, cut out all sugars and simple carbohydrates, meaning grains, sodas, rice, and potatoes. There is nothing wrong with your fiber vegetables. I eat a huge salad each night and with no dressing.
      I also started fasting for 24 hour, eating one meal a day. I started this twelve weeks ago and have lost 35 pounds. You can look at You Tube.com on fasting. But the health improvement that I have seen and felt is unbelievable! No longer do I have that afternoon tiredness. Gus, I am only 69, but I feel alot younger now. It’s is a tough way to start this fasting, but now it is normal to me. I have done 48 hours with little effort. Also, my mind is alot clearer along with my memory since my body has purged alot of toxins built up over many years of eating soo bad. I took berberine three times a day, but had to cut back because my glucose level would go low enough to where I would feel nauseous and become weak.
      Good luck Gus, and try to do away with the simple carbohydrates! I love the saying ” If it’s made by nature, eat it! If it is made by a manufacturer, don’t eat it”.

    • Hi Gus,

      Did the berberine work for you?

      I have an Australian product called LIFE (Lyophilized Indigenous Food Essentials)™ which is based on 14 wild foods of the World’s longest living culture – the Indigenous Australians. We also add 13 other global superfoods giving a product that is used by a fast-growing number of individuals who have already discovered us and is recommended by informed naturopaths, dieticians and nutritionists. Google the name and you will find us online.

      Aborigines did not suffer the diseases of nutrition which include diabetes, obesity, CVD, hypertension, gout, a host of other conditions as well as most cancers.

      Let me know if you need more information but the idea behind LIFE is that it provides an arsenal of beneficial micronutrients rather than hoping a single plant or extract will reduce a plethora of symptoms. Wild foods appear to offer a cure through preventative maintenance and these were the foods with which we evolved as a species. It makes sense to turn back to wild and near wild foods for our ideal nutrition.

      Cheers,
      Vic

      • I am interested in the product. I am 56 started menopause and gave big gut now very tired. Dry skin low thyroid high cholesterol. I am allergic to metaphor min sulfates penicillin my son get additive some foods .

    • Reverend David Lee

      Gday Gus – I, too, was on two 500mg Metformin per day plus 20mg rosavustatin (crestor) and while it did pull down both my fasting and evening glucose, and my A1C from what it had been, it was not without problems. Still had numbers at the higher lookout range fasting and both meds caused me continual joint pain, achiness well beyond my osteoarthritis causes.

      After constructive whingeing to various of my docs, I was asked “How do you feel about needles? Do you prefer insulin or a med like Trulicity?” Needles never bothered me, even as a little tyke. But I didn’t want to surrender to insulin with all of the problems of mistiming and supply that entails.

      I was offered Trulicity and Ozempic (those are the USA market names). I figured my insurer would crock less over the older lower cost med with the good track record and side effects that I could easily handle, so went with the lowest dose of Trulicity preloaded once weekly. Amazing results that provided the lower of the numbers I’d gotten on the other meds while also cutting the crestor in half.

      Then I added ONE 400mg Berberine and have found that it has pushed my numbers occasionally into middle target range. I’m experimenting with when I take it now and am considering adding a second dose daily, based on what I discover. My doctors love that I’m very careful to research and closely observe what meds do to me and so far, the one side effect of the berberine I’ve noticed has been pooting. I’m normally not a pooter, even when I eat brussel sprouts or cabbage, and any allicin food (onion, garlic) so the usual suspects don’t poot me, but, well, this is what the loo is for, right?

      I am in the US but shop from Australia for practice materials (Vajrayana practitioner here) regularly since there are a couple of very fine supplies there with fresher depletable products like incenses.

      I found that you have many web sources for Berberine there including superpharmacy, iherb, herbosophy, vitamingrocer, precisionnutrition and Amazon, eBay and the usual such suspects.

      Many of the big name supplement makers sell on those last platforms. I’ve found, in the US, that the cheapest vendor, BY FAR, is Swanson, who make consistent and accurate supplements. They sell on eBay and Amazon and I’m sure they ship to Ozz. I’ve used them, along with Piping Rock and Vitacost, for various herbs, minerals or other supplements for years. I find them fast, trustworthy and very reasonable in price.

      Good luck, and who knows, you may be able to reduce your metformin dosing (but will need to make sure you get the splittable version) and might want to look into whether switching to the very easy to administer Trulicity in the lowest dose weekly might be easier and better for you than the Januvia. I always try to adjust meds to eliminate spikes in dose or effect and Trulicity is unlike tabs and appears to build an effect that is steady. I certainly feel better on it than the metformin and, pooting aside, find that the berberine is making a difference. And Swanson makes it affordable enough since I doubt any insurer or UHC will pay for it since it isn’t patented and profit-laden(!), so no benefits to profiteers.

      Best of luck, you can DEFINITELY get Berberine by mail in Ozz!!

    • read the side effects of diabetes drug and the the harm they are causing your body. would you not rather keep reducing you calorie intake and watch your glucose drop and keep dropping as you eliminate more calories. dr. don’t tell you that these drugs only mask the cause of the problem. they don’t cure a dam thing. you will not believe how good you feel and how great it will be trying to control your glucose from going too low. you will still have to monitor glucose but the worry of too high will not be the problem. keeping it balanced will be the problem.

  2. Hi Gus, you can buy Berberine online at Amazon.com. The brand I use is by Divine Bounty which is 600 mgs, non gmo with no additives. By using this daily with meals you should be able to cut down on the pharmaceuticals which are causing you more harm than good. But as with anything it will take time and consistent use.

    • Hi Snowcat, I did a search on Amazon.com but could not find any Berberine product online. I live in Australia. I am very keen to try the Berberine products, my Blod sugar is sky high and the mainstream medications make me feel sick so I ma not taking any medication?

      • gus, Swanson’s Health Products based in Fargo, North Dakota carries it in capsule form.

        • I really wish someone would advise how long you have to take Berberine ? It worked great to bring my A1C down and I lost 13 stubborn pounds (metabolic syndrome and diabetes) so would like to know: Once you get A1C down do you need to still take Berberine ? Has anyone seen advice on how long this should be taken?

        • Where is it available to buy

      • Do start with a low carb diet while you search for more help. It’s kept my diabetes from progressing for 11 years

        • Well said Kirsten, I also was diagnosed T2 6-7 years ago and have kept my blood glucose under control by going very low carb, no bread, no rice, no pasta no potato and of course cakes, pastries and biscuits anything with a lot of sugar.. I do not take any medication only Cinnamon and Turmeric daily.. I think I will give Berberine a go though sounds really good

  3. Caroline Rollins

    What are side effects of berberine? I take synthroid, plaquenil, folic acid. Is it ok with any of these medications

    • Caroline, do some research on folate vs folic acid. A lot of people can’t convert folic acid to folate. I suspect you are one of them, because of your thyroid dysfunction.

  4. I am taking Berberine 500 mg tablets twice a day, (1 am and 1 pm). Did so for 5 months and closely watched my diet (Low Carb). Had my blood work done but my fasting was still higher than it was a year ago. 109 last year and 112 this year. A1C last year 6.0 and this year 6.2. I do not understand why. It worries me that it is going up. Went to a functional medicine doctor a few years ago who put me on T3 Free Thyroid medication. My A1C went down to 5.6 but my fasting glucose shot up to 127. Once I stopped the T3 Free my fasting went down to 91 and my A1C went back to 6.0 and has been slowly creeping back up. I also take Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 mg per day. Would really like to find some answers as I do not want to become a diabetic and end up on chemical drugs. Most doctors I have consulted want to push the drugs saying natural treatments are no good.

    • Try using cinnamon water extract Cinnulin PF and the gymnema sylvestre 15 minutes before the meal. Take the 600 mg Alpha lipoic acid after the meal. Always take an activated B complex with each meal, as the b vitamins help process the sugar out of the blood. Many more herbs to use, Mulberry, Bitter Melon or mormordica, ginger, nopal cactus, fenugreek seed (fiber), Curcumin or Turmeric, pygcenol, resveratrol, astaxanthin, vanadium, magnesium. There is a great need to increase the chromium intake each day, I take 1000 mg per day. The pancreas is slowed by fat deposits, same as the liver. Keep the diet low on saturated fat and high in fiber. Eat your greens daily. Diabetics loose much minerals through normal activity, need to replace whats lost to prevent damage tot he body. High blood sugar doesn’t cause as much damage if you have sufficient nutrients and minerals in your system. I’ve been a diabetic for 15 years, no drugs, all natural by diet and exercise. Only go to the doc to test my blood and check my eyes. I’m living proof that you don’t need drugs for any condition, learn yourself how to beat any disease, and keep your money instead of buying drugs that will kill you faster. No money in a cure, only controlling symptoms for a lifetime.

    • Elizabeth McFarland

      It’s important to know, some medications will cause an increase in blood sugar. For instance, statins, used for cholesterol control, some blood pressure medications, and of course, any steroid. It’s also believed thyroid medication will also increase blood sugar levels.

      • i had thyroid cancer, completely taken out…on synthroid and pre-diabetic so taking meds yet though the same thing that thyroid med must have an impact infact the pill is sweet when you put in your mouth yet my endochronologist says no that synthroid should not impact sugar levels yet does not really give me much more to go on. I have asked various sources what a person without a thyroid is supposed to do different and not many replies….so, as we know thyroid is critical to all functions yet very limited guidance…

  5. We have realized to accept the imperfections in life.

  6. Prabhat Kumar Shee

    My wife is a diabetic with kidney disfunction (Creatinine 4.97) using 15 medicines daily.Her age is 49) ,period has resumed and she is very weak and
    needs round the clock care. Please advise?

    • Purchase a product called Sweet Eze by Youngevity and take 1 cap with each meal. Also, to improve kidney function, get Ultimate Daily Classic by Youngevity. Take 1 tab 3-4 x daily. This will open up microscopic inflamed blood vessels that bring the dirty blood to the kidneys for filtering. Google search. They also have a new product to lower blood sugar called Glucogenics. Watch glucose closely. Lower meds gradually.

      • I couldn’t reduce my A1C while eating NO sugar or carbs. Started taking Sweet Eze one capsule before each meal and my A!C went down to a safe level. I think this is a wonderful product and the only thing that worked.

    • Your wife is too precious to take 15!! meds daily, it’s insane. Get rid of your doctors and find good HOMEOPATH! She needs more powerful natural substances than just supplements. Homeopathy will be the best solution. It saved my life, I hope it will save your wife’s too.

  7. I think there are some important facts left out here. Within the last 2-3 years, both the SGLT2 and GLP1 classes has been shown to provide a reduction in cardiovascular death based on CVOT trials that were completed. These medications used along with diet, exercise, and natural remedies can provide greater benefit than medication or herbal remedy alone.

    I am all for natural products but with the appropriate information being shared so I can make an informed decision.

    • These SGLT2 inhibitors also come with many risks, including yeast infections, UTI’s, acute kidney injury, ketoacidosis, fractures, increased risk of amputation, acute pancreatitis, Fournier’s gangrene. So does the benefit outweigh the risk? Not to mention the cost of these “new” meds. These medications are very new and it’s still too soon to really know the long term benefits of these medications….for example we were told to take Asprin to prevent heart attacks and stokes for years but it isn’t until recently that has been disproved as being beneficial for primary prevention and now after well over 20 years of patients dealing with the side effects of taking this medication they now have the data to say hmmmm maybe this isn’t very beneficial at preventing cardiovascular events….Be careful with anything you put in your mouth. There is no pill that will ever compare to the health benefits of eating healthy and leading a healthy active life.

  8. Gus, you can get Berberine in 400mg capsule form from Swanson’s Heath Products based out of Fargo, North Dakota.

  9. I have been a diabetic for most of my life. I am on medforming and glypezide. I can afford to fast because as it is my weight is 114 lb oat meal with berries and nuts in the am vegetable juice in the afternoon and salad at night. No meat. My A1C is 7.4
    Any suggestions on how to lower my A1C and leave all my meds.

    • You’ll have to dump the oatmeal in the morning. VERY high gylcemic. And, fasting, even at your weight, will be great for you. Thing about it. You’re fasting all night while sleeping. Wake up and skip breakfast and drink some good quality water. Maybe with lemon. Let’s say you have a late lunch around 2pm. Right there is 20 hours of fasting. Not a problem at all. Veggie juice can be high in sugars too if not freshly pressed. Probaby not getting enough fat or protein either.

  10. Hi i was ready to buy Berberine for help with controlling my diabetes. On the label it said, “CAUTION: This product is not intended for individuals with impaired glucose metabolism such as prediabetes or diabetes”.

    So I am hesitant about buying this herb.

    • My Integrative doctor recommended Berberine for me, as I don’t take any drugs. I also get chelation/ozone infusions that keep my arteries clear. You might ask about these alternatives.

    • The FDA probably requires them to label it that way because berberine is so effective in lowering blood sugar. They are afraid of it working too well, for someone already taking a medication if the person doesn’t realize they must taper off the meds slowly. The manufacturer of berberine cannot advise that on the label, (must lower meds gradually) because it would be illegal for them to do so.

      That’s also why Epsom salt has a label saying it’s not recommended for diabetics. Epsom salt is a type of Magnesium that increases insulin sensitivity and will lower blood sugar naturally. The danger here is not the Epsom salt itself, or the Berberine, it’s in the person continuing the same dose of medication, Ie Metformin, etc. while using Epsom salt or Berberine or any natural agent that works.

      Every diabetic should be also taking Magnesium to increase insulin sensitivity. Just watch it closely and make the adjustments to your Meds.

      Don’t be afraid to try Berberine!

  11. Because of a diagnosis of diabetes II my doctor prescribed metformin. I started to search Google for information about diabetes and the drugs. I discovered the conditions mentioned above. I decided to stop all drugs related to diabetes and to stop using sugar, artificial sweeteners, sodas, and start eating more fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish and shrimp, grass fed beef, free range chickens. It is recommended that you consume dry red wine, one drink a day, and dark chocolate in moderation, which I do. In the first 30 days I lost 20 pounds and another 10 pounds in the next 10 days which put me to my chart weight. Another doctor found I was deficient in B-12 because of the metformin so my primary doctor prescribed B-12 shots, one per month. I have maintained my weight for almost 3 years now.

    • Wonderful!!Could you specify one day off your diet and how much protein do you eat?Do you eat a oatmeal or eggs in the morning? How many fruits a day ?Thank you for sharing your information😀

  12. I am now on Metformin 1000 mg twice a day. Can I take Metformin in addition to Berberine. Can I stop taking Metformin. I have nephropathy, will Berberine help. There are nights it is very hard to get a good nights sleep.

  13. My mother is diabetic and I started giving this to her 6 months ago.. 500 mg and her blood sugars fell drastically. I have been able to get her off of Humalog 3 times a day. She is only taking Lantus in the morning lower dose… I would love to get her off insulin totally and am thinking of trying another 500 mg. I was not aware you can give up to 1500 mg of Berberine. Her doctor has been so impressed with this. Of coarse dietary changes too..

  14. I just need to know what I need for pre diabetes ,,,my neck an arms have dark retaining I guess insulan need help

  15. I got off Metformin because it gave me the runs. I increased my insulin intake with the same levels of Blood Glucose, however, I would like to try Berbadine as to get off beta blockers and lower by glucose levels

  16. Great article – Berberine is awesome!!!

    Dr. Broda Barnes in the 1970’s reported that many of the symptoms that we blame on diabetes are from a easily treated hypothyroid problem. How did a huge statement like this not get researched and published more -it doesn’t profit big pharma-.

    Excerpts (pages 226-229) from Hypo-thyroidism : The Unsuspected Illness by Broda O. Barnes, M.D. :

    “Evidence at present strongly suggests that the complications of diabetes including atherosclerosis are not due to the diabetes itself but to something independent of diabetes and this may well be thyroid deficiency.”
    “Thyroid therapy prevented complications in Dr. Eaton’s diabetic patients twenty years ago and has been preventing the same complications in my patients, diabetic and non diabetic, for twenty-four years.”
    “ All of the diabetic patients I have personally treated to date have run subnormal basal temperatures and have had symptoms of hypothyroidism, and with thyroid therapy they have had not only relief of the hypothyroidism symptoms but have shown no detectable progression in atherosclerosis.”
    “All of the complications of diabetes – including those of the eye (retinopathies), of the nervous system (neuropathies), of the muscles (myopathies), of the joints (atherosclerotic), of the kidneys (nephropathies), and atherosclerotic gangrene – are seen in hypthroidism in the absence of diabetes.”
    “ In Graz Austria, a goitrous are for centuries, a large proportion of the population is hypothyroid. I have checked the protocols for 2,400 consecutive autopsies carried out in one year and found that of the total number of amputations required because of gangrene, five of every six were among hypothyroid nondiabetics. It is not diabetes but rather atherosclerosis in both diabetic and nondiabetic that leads to loss of the lower extremities.”
    “ I argue emphatically that since so many of the symptoms and complications of hypothyroidism are identical to those of diabetes, every patient with diabetes should have a basal temperature check and, if the temperature is subnormal, a trial of thyroid therapy.”

    Dr Broda Barnes suggest that you have a mercury thermometer already shaken down next to your bed and immediately upon awakening place it snugly in the armpit for ten minutes. A reading below the normal range of 97.8 to 98.2 strongly suggest low thyroid function. He also suggest that desiccated thyroid pills work the best for treatment.

  17. Berberine definitely works. My doc took me off all T2 meds in Dec. due to kidney complications. Had been on 2,000 mg of Met for 10 years. (Tip-there is a growing issue with too much acid and or potassium from our food and meds causing kidneys to develop CKD, chronic kidney disease, at an alarming rate. Watch those labs carefully.)
    Faced with panicky thought of no blood sugar medicine I went hard core into natural supplements and diet restriction using the LCHF diet. In Dec on met my A1C 6.4, a month later with no meds my A1C was 5.9. (Note: that was during the Christmas season with all the temptations.)
    I take 1,000 mg of Berberine with each meal, which means 1-2,000 mg/day. I also take Gymnema, Citrus Bergamot, Garcina and Ceylon (true) cinnamon.
    PS- I can buy Berberine at Amazon, but I tend to get it from Natural Groceries or almost any vitamin shop.

  18. Thanks for all the information. I’m ready to try Berberine slowly at first with my insulin. Important to monitor sugar levels closely, then adjust.

  19. Myrna Makkonen

    I am on 4 metformin and she now added another one (I haven’t taken it yet) cause though I am taking 500 mg Berberine in morning and Cinnamon capsule at night and 500 mg of chromium Picolinate one in morning and one at night and the A1C average was this time 7.8 (have been in chronic pain for over 2 months with severe shingles as well) and had come down from 8. Yet my dr is such a pill pusher and insisted I needed to take this other diabetes pill. I want off the meds and not increasing but I also live with a lot of stress for years now which affects all this. Would it be ok for me to take more Berberine with my other stuff? Thanks for helpful advice.

  20. Valentine Anastassiou

    Thank you for this excellent article.
    Valentine Anastassiou, Cyprus

  21. Lawrence Schwartz

    All good info, but need a source to get good pharmaceutical grade berberine. Any help?

  22. how about type 1.what suggestions do you have.Every suggestion will be appreciated

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