Is Berberine an effective alternative to metformin? In this post, we’ll talk about how Berberine works to treat insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
What is berberine?
Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be taken from several different plants. This includes a group of shrubs called berberis. Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid that is used to treat diabetes. It also treats high levels of cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood (hyperlipidemia). It treats high blood pressure, inflammation, obesity, and PCOS too.
Like metformin, berberine affects adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK), the enzyme that controls cell energy production.
AMPK is inhibited by energy excess and activated through energy use. High glucose, glycogen levels, and high fat intake slows down AMPK. When you are inactive and you eat a high-calorie diet, it will subdue AMPK. While exercise and caloric restriction will activate it.
Berberine has the same effect on insulin resistance and fat loss as increasing exercise while restricting calorie intake.
Berberine can decrease insulin resistance. This can make insulin more effective. It can increase glycolysis. This helps the body break down glucose inside cells. Next, it can decrease glucose production in the liver. And slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut. It can also increase the number of useful bacteria in the gut.
Studies in diabetics show that one gram of berberine per day can lower fasting blood sugar by 20%. It can also lower HGBA1C by 12%. HGBA1C is a marker of long-term blood sugar levels. Berberine can improve blood lipids, like cholesterol and triglycerides. This is great for people with metabolic syndrome.
A review of multiple studies concludes that berberine is as effective as oral diabetes drugs. This includes metformin. Berberine has additive effects when given with other blood-sugar-lowering drugs.
Most importantly, berberine can make your lifestyle alterations (like diet and exercise) work.
In head-to-head studies, berberine was better than metformin in the reduction of waist size and waist-to-hip ratio.
Berberine effectively blocked the glucose uptake and excessive testosterone production of insulin-resistant theca cells. All in women with PCOS.
Additionally, berberine can help reduce acne and lower testosterone levels that contribute to hirsutism. Berberine also improves fertility in women with PCOS.
Berberine helps with weight loss. This is because it improves the ratio of the fat/hunger hormones, leptin and adiponectin.
What to expect when you take berberine.
The proper dose of berberine is 500mg with each meal. However, when you first take it, make sure to go slow. You’ll want to avoid gastric upset.
When you take berberine, the most common side effects are GI upset, rash, and headache.
According to several studies, we found that berberine is a safer, more effective alternative to metformin. This is after we took the side effects into account. When you combine lifestyle alterations with berberine in patients with metabolic syndrome, it can effectively reduce insulin resistance. It can also manage blood glucose, blood lipids, and reduce the level of inflammatory response in the body.
Although berberine is an effective alternative to metformin, it is important to note that berberine is not meant for long-term use.
This is why I focus on the support of the hypothalamus. It controls glucose metabolism, blood pressure, inflammation, hormones, and fertility. I use berberine to assist in weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity. I also use it to balance gut bacteria. But only for a short period of time. Three months of use is sufficient to correct these imbalances with berberine. But, only if you support your hypothalamus to keep your body in balance.
If you have questions in regards to the use of berberine, I will answer all of them live in our Hormone Support Group. You can access this through our free Hormone Reboot Training. I hope you will join us.