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If you are diabetic, battling with blood sugar control, weight problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, candida or a number of other conditions – this might just be the supplement you have been looking for.  One of its most amazing features is its ability to effectively reduce BELLY FAT.  I’m talking about Berberine – a naturally-occurring plant alkaloid (chemical compound) and one of the most exciting natural treatments you’ll ever hear about for a host of different conditions (see below).  Chinese Medicine has known this for thousands of years, now scientific research into berberine is showing impressive clinical applications for blood pressure, blood sugar control, cholesterol, diabetes, PCOS, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and recently even preliminary studies into its ability to treat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

And if you are weight-conscious and need to lose weight (apart from belly fat)- hold tight: berberine seems to have the ability to activate the important enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase or AMPk, found inside every cell which serves as a “master regulating switch” in energy metabolism. This enzyme plays a key role in determining BODY FAT COMPOSITION and in particular, the amount of visceral “belly” fat you carry. Low AMPk activity leads to accelerated ageing, inflammation, insulin resistance, increased belly fat, dysglycemia, raised cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, possible diabetes, mitochondrial insufficiency & dysfunction, and neurodegeneration.

Conditions in which berberine is showing great promise:

  • Reduction in belly fat
  • Anti-ageing
  • Weight loss
  • Insulin Resistance/Type II Diabetes
  • Improves Insulin sensitivity (similar to metformin)
  • Reduces fasting plasma glucose
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Resistant Candida
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Immune challenges
  • Joint problems
  • Chronic systemic inflammation
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • Helps repair mucosal lining in colitis
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

BLOOD SUGAR, DIABETES, HYPERTENSION

Berberine appears to be an extremely effective “AMPk activator” with impressive safety studies, as well as being effective in type 2 diabetics lowering blood sugar levels and HbA1c readings together with lifestyle intervention; in fact berberine seems to be just as effective as diabetic drugs. The same results were observed in the treatment of raised cholesterol, raised triglycerides and high blood pressure. Studies concluded that berberine combined with conventional drugs in these conditions is safe and can produce better results than the drugs alone. Typical dosage for berberine used in studies was 500mg 2-3 times a day, with – of course – less side effects than drugs. If too much berberine is taken there could be bloating, constipation, diarrhea or nausea – and all you do is then reduce the dose. Start on one a day and slowly build up to 2-3 x a day if you need to.

Researchers conducting a meta-analysis concluded that berberine has comparable therapeutic effects on type 2 diabetes, elevated blood lipids and hypertension with no serious side effect or toxicity. Curcumin is often used for the above conditions, but studies reveal that berberine is even stronger than curcumin, according to a research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials.

In a nutshell, berberine has been shown to:

  • Produce results in clinical trials in improving type 2 diabetes on par or better than conventional drugs including metformin.
  • Improve blood lipid levels better than statins, including serum cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Lower blood pressure in many subjects as well as any class of anti-hypertensive medication.
  • Improve liver function and promote anti-obesity effects.
  • Exert significant beneficial effects on digestive health and the microbiome.
  • Produce very encouraging experimental data in a wide range of modern health issues including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.
  • Supports heart health and boosts lung health (especially in ex-smokers)

Dosage and Cautions

  • Take 1 x 500mg (1-3 x a day) berberine with a meal or just after. If you find you have a few minor gastrointestinal side effects rather start on one a day and slowly increase to 3 a day in divided doses if there are no mild side effects such as cramp or diarrhoea.
  • Do not use in pregnancy or lactation as it has not been tested in these instances
  • If you are on a blood glucose lowering medication, please note it may drop your blood sugar too quickly when taken alongside these medications – speak to your healthcare provider first
  • Please always use together with a probiotic supplement like ProB)Plus or Acidiphilus 40+ due to its strong microbial action if using for any length of time (this is not ‘bad’ in any way, but to make sure your microbiome is kept healthy and strong).

You can order Berberine now from my online store here

DIGESTIVE TRACT / MICROBIOME

Berberine is very effective for digestive tract problems as it improves the composition of the microbiome, and can treat a number of gastrointestinal infections with results comparable to standard antibiotics most times.  Double-blind studies show berberine to be effective against various types of diarrhoea, parasites and infectious organisms including:

  • coli (traveler’s diarrhoea)
  • Shigella dysenteriae (shigellosis)
  • Salmonella paratyphi (food poisoning)
  • Klebsiella
  • Giardia lamblia (giardiasis)
  • Entamoeba histolytica (amebiasis)
  • Vibrio cholerae (cholera)
  • Candida albicans

While it targets these disease-causing organisms, it exerts no action against the health-promoting bacterial species such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacter species.

The typical dosage for berberine is 500 mg two to three times daily before meals.

Berberine is extremely safe and well-tolerated. However, there are some drug interactions that are important to know about. Berberine may interfere with the absorption of tetracycline and related antibiotics. Berberine also produces significant inhibition of CYP3A enzymes in humans. Because most drugs are metabolized by these enzymes, berberine may decrease the clearance of many medications thereby potentiating their effect.

HOW INFLAMMATION AFFECTS WEIGHT LOSS

When it comes to weight loss, you want to make sure you have as little inflammation as possible in order to lose weight effectively and keep it off.  So why does inflammation even matter in this instance?  Here are a few reasons why inflammation is important:

  • It slows down metabolic rate by reducing the conversion of T4 to T3 – thereby slowing down and reducing the efficacy of your thyroid hormones
  • It leads to a condition known as adiposopathy (inflammation of the fat cells) which leads to dysregulation of hormones produced by the fat cells
  • ​It worsens both insulin resistance and leptin resistance which leads directly to weight gain and weight loss resistance

​These are just a few of the negative effects of inflammation making weight loss more difficult, there are many others. Here’s where Berberine comes in.  It has been shown to lower inflammation in the LIVER CELLS, which is vital – because inflammation in the liver leads to fatty liver disease which makes weight loss ten times harder.  Berberine then reduces general inflammation which affects the thyroid gland, liver, metabolism and many of the body’s hormones. A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine that berberine can improve insulin sensitivity by adjusting adipokine secretion.

CAUTIONS:

  • Do not use during pregnancy or lactation
  • Suggestion: if using long term, please add in a good probiotic like ProB)Plus due to strong microbial action.
  • May enhance glucose lowering effects of certain medications.