Does Berberine Lower Blood Sugar? | Lowering Blood Sugar

Does Berberine Lower Blood Sugar?

Western medication has played an effective role in treating different ailments. Although, it is not the only way to cure various health ailments as supplements are also capable. Supplements have compounds and properties found in different plants, making them organic.

According to statistics, one out of ten people has diabetes, and 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. Never-ending research has been carried out in the quest to find the proper cure for diabetes and find effective therapy that promises longevity for diabetic patients. There is more to learn about berberine, so let’s dive right into it.

berberine benefits

So, what is berberine?

Berberines, a bioactive compound found in plants like Goldenseal, Oregon grape, tree turmeric, and European barberry, stands out in reducing blood sugar levels. The compound has been used for centuries by Indians, Chinese, and Middle East people. However, the herb has just started gaining popularity in some countries and is even sold over the counter.

Potential health benefits of berberine

According to research by MedlinePlus, berberine is effective in reducing high cholesterol, blood sugar, and high blood pressure and helps fight cancer and skin issues. Below are the benefits associated with berberine.

  1. Lower blood sugar

Berberine has a chance to slightly lower blood glucose levels and is as effective as metformin, a diabetes drug. Regulating high blood sugar is possible, but the stakes are higher when berberine is combined with lifestyle changes. Diabetic patients with existing ailments like liver failure, kidney problems, or heart diseases have the potential to use berberine. Such people are not qualified to take diabetes drugs as they might worsen their conditions.

  1. Lose weight

`Healthy weight is equivalent to a healthy life free from the many lifestyle diseases attacking people. A study done in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that berberine taken three times a day for three months led to the participants losing two inches of their waists. Using berberine in conjunction with lifestyle changes does enhance your weight loss journey.

  1. Lower cholesterol

High cholesterol is associated with heart disease due to clogged arteries that impede blood flow in the body and heart. A study in Phytomedicine where obese participants used berberine thrice a day for three months revealed a tremendous reduction in cholesterol levels. The best part of using berberine to lower high cholesterol is that it is a safe alternative, unlike other means of dealing with high cholesterol.

How much does berberine lower blood sugar?

According to studies related to type 2 diabetes patients, taking 600-2700 mg of berberine daily lowers fasting and blood sugar levels. Taking the supplement alongside metformin reduces sugar levels by 12%. Berberine is as effective as other blood sugar medications like rosiglitazone and Glucotrol.

How to take berberine to lower blood sugar

To lower your blood sugar, you must take one capsule of berberine three times a day. Each capsule contains 500 mg of berberine and should be taken before meals. Do not take the three capsules all at once, as this robs you of the desired results.

How long does berberine take to work?

berberine supplements

Most studies suggest that taking 1000-1500 mg of berberine daily for three consistent months does provide desired results. Weight loss, low blood sugar, and pressure are the achievements you make within this time.

Does berberine work as well as metformin?

Metformin, a common diabetes drug, and berberine are promising drugs in treating type 2 diabetes. Berberine works as well as metformin in lowering blood sugar levels, but metformin slightly fails in regulating lipid metabolism.

Side effects of berberine

Diarrhea, stomach upsets, constipation, bloating, and nausea are the common side effects of berberine. Berberine is safe for short-term use on the skin but should be avoided for long-term uses.

Can one take turmeric and berberine together?

Turmeric and berberine combined attest to the best results as the two effectively enhance cells. These two are better combined as they provide great results than single drugs.

Turmeric and berberine combined attest to the best results as the two effectively enhance cells. These two are better combined as they provide great results than single drugs.

Medications berberine may interact with

Research shows that berberine has anti-platelet properties, and this is an element that suggests it can interact with medications meant to thin the blood. Medications such as Warfarin, Plavix, and Brilinta cannot interrupt the functionality of berberine.

Diabetes medications such as Januvia, insulin, Metformin, Glyburide, and others can interact with berberine without causing any serious side effects. Although this is the case for many, it is urgent to speak to your doctor before deciding on using berberine.

Cyclosporine, a drug prescribed for patients who have undergone an organ transplant, can successfully interact with berberine. Research by MedlinePlus states otherwise as it shows berberine delays the breakdown of this medication in the body.

berberine side effects

Groups that shouldn’t take berberine

Short-term use of berberine is safe for adults, but according to MedlinePlus, groups of people should not take berberine due to their body conditions or other factors. Children, especially infants, should not be given berberine as it results in kernicterus, a type of brain damage.

There is no study on older children taking berberine, but to be on the safer side, they would rather not. Pregnant women should stay away from berberine as exposing their fetus to berberine can lead to different congenital disabilities in the infant.

The same case applies to breastfeeding mothers as taking the berberine supplements leads to it being transferred to the infant whenever they feed. As observed above, berberine is not safe for infants, but in this case, it is for another reason. Berberine slows down the removal of bilirubin from the liver, and in infants, brain problems may occur as a result.

Final thoughts

Research from different sources suggests that berberine can effectively treat type 2 diabetes as it possesses blood sugar lowering properties. The berberine supplements are affordable and easy to find as they are sold over the counter. Although there are berberine side effects, the herb is a safe treatment option to lower blood sugar. It is imperative that you consult your doctor before using the supplement. Remember, it is better safe than sorry.

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