Diabetes has reached epidemic levels.
Just 1% of the U.S. population was diabetic in 1958, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Today, that figure has increased more than nine-fold…9.4% of Americans now has the disease.
Big Pharma is making a fortune from type 2 diabetes, since so many people now take drugs to control it.
People often ask me if there are natural supplements that lower blood sugar.
There certainly are. And the most impressive is berberine. It’s part of a class of compounds called alkaloids.
Berberine is derived from herbs, including goldenseal, barberry, and tree turmeric. It’s been a staple of Chinese and Indian traditional medicine for centuries.
A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology looked at a 27 randomized controlled trials. They found that berberine worked about as well as drugs such as metformin at lowering blood sugar.
A study from China’s Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine randomly assigned 36 type 2 diabetics to take either metformin or berberine. Berberine was found to lower hemoglobin A1c levels about as well as metformin. It also reduced insulin resistance.
A particularly impressive study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Researchers randomly gave 116 type 2 diabetes patients either one gram daily of berberine or a placebo. The berberine group’s blood sugar dropped 20%. They went from diabetic to normal levels.
Berberine has been found to have other benefits as well:
- Weight loss. A study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine gathered 37 obese volunteers. Scientists gave them 300 mg of berberine three times daily. After three months, the volunteers’ body mass index levels had dropped from the obese category to overweight.
- Alzheimer’s prevention. A study published in the journal Science China reviewed research on neurodegenerative diseases. Berberine was found to enhance neural pathways that combat Alzheimer’s.
- Heart failure treatment. Research presented in The American Journal of Cardiology gave heart failure patients either berberine or a placebo in addition to their regular treatment. Berberine patients had reduced risk of death and their symptoms improved.
Most berberine studies give patients dosages in the range of 1,000 mg (one gram) to 1,500 mg daily. It’s best to take it in three daily 500 mg doses, one with each meal.
If you are taking meds for diabetes, speak with your doctor before taking berberine.
Berberine is very safe. Rare side effects include cramping and constipation. It’s widely available in supplement form. You can get it from online retailers and health food stores.