Q: I’ve read a couple articles recently about the supplement berberine for type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol- two problems I have. The things I’ve read sound almost too good to be true. I wanted to see if you had information about berberine and diabetes, since I don’t want to buy something that doesn’t really work.
A: Berberine is a little-known supplement that has been gaining popularity for its amazing benefits for diabetics as well as people dealing with high cholesterol. Berberine has been touted lately as a wonder supplement, but I’m happy to report that the science actually does back up the hype around berberine, especially for diabetics.
Berberine has been the subject of several recent scientific studies for diabetes. Scientists concluded that taking berberine, at a dose of five hundred milligrams two to three times a day, was shown to be as effective as three different prescription oral diabetes medications for lowering blood sugar. The researchers reported that berberine had “identical effects in the regulation of blood sugar” when compared to the top diabetes medications for type 2 diabetics.
In another study in patients with type 2 diabetes, five hundred milligrams twice a day of berberine lowered fasting blood sugar from just above the range of being classified as diabetes (i.e., 126ml/dL) to normal blood sugar levels (less than 100mg/dL) in most people.
Similar positive results were observed in studies focusing on people with high cholesterol and high triglycerides. A review of the current studies also determined that berberine was safe to take in conjunction with prescription medications for the above issues, and produced better results than the medications alone. In one placebo-controlled trial, berberine lowered triglyceride levels by 35.9 percent, LDL cholesterol by 21 percent, and total cholesterol by 18 percent. The participants in the study that took berberine also experienced lower blood pressure as well as weight and abdominal fat loss.
The accumulating research on berberine is really showing it to be an impressive supplement and one that would be of benefit to many people, particularly those with blood sugar or cholesterol issues. The recommended dosage is typically five hundred milligrams two to three times a day. Berberine has also been shown to be well tolerated, and without side effects with the exception of constipation for some people at higher dosages. For people who do experience constipation after taking berberine in higher dosages usually experience relief if they reduce their dose.
So, to answer your question, yes, the science backs up the many benefits of berberine, and no, it is not too good to be true! I would recommend the Natural Factors brand of berberine, known as WellBetX Berberine, since it contains the 500 milligram dose used in the above research studies. Also, since I’m writing about berberine this month, we will be offering the Natural Factors brand berberine on sale for the month of March at the store for 25% off. If you have type 2 diabetes or issues with high triglycerides, I would very much recommend giving it a try!