Certain antibiotics used to treat pneumonia, bronchitis and bacterial infections may increase the risk of heart attack, but only for people with underlying heart disease such as arrhythmias, structural changes to the heart, or heart damage from a previous heart attack. Read on to find out which three antibiotics pose the highest risk.
Cardiovascular death linked to macrolides
Macrolides are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, and are used to treat a number of bacterial infections. Under the umbrella of macrolides are the commonly prescribed antibiotics azithromycin, erythromycin and clarithromycin. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine studied more than a million cases of antibiotic-treated patients in 2012, and discovered some scary findings.
The study found that patients taking azithromycin for five days were three times more likely to suffer a fatal cardiovascular event, compared with patients who took no antibiotics. Azithromycin, it seems, also caused irregular heartbeats in some patients. Similarly, erythromycin and clarithromycin were found to be linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, according to the study.
Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology analyzed 33 studies involving more than 20 million patients between 1966 and 2015. Researchers compared patients treated with macrolides to similar patients treated with other antibiotics or patients who did not receive antibiotic therapy.
This time researchers examined each macrolide separately: azithromycin, clarithromycin and erythromycin. In this analysis, researchers found that each antibiotic was linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death or ventricular tachyarrhythmia (rapid heartbeat).
In those patients not taking macrolides, researchers found 80 cases of rapid heartbeat per million treatment courses. For those using macrolides, there were an additional 118 patients with rapid heartbeat or related sudden cardiac deaths per million treatment courses. The study revealed 36 additional sudden cardiac deaths from causes other than rapid heartbeat and 38 additional cardiovascular deaths per million treatment courses.
“Given that macrolides are one of the most commonly used antibiotic groups and millions of patients are prescribed these drugs annually, the total number of sudden cardiac deaths or ventricular tachyarrhythmias and cardiac deaths may not be negligible,” said Su-Hua Wu, M.D., Ph.D., one of the study authors. “The heart safety of each macrolide needs to be better understood, to help guide clinical treatment decisions.”
FDA warning for azithromycin
In response to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a statement declaring they were aware of the cardiovascular deaths associated with azithromycin, in comparison to persons treated with amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin or no drug.
On March 3, 2013, the FDA made a follow-up announcement with a warning to the public that azithromycin can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.
“Health care professionals should consider the risk of fatal heart rhythms with azithromycin when considering treatment options for patients who are already at risk for cardiovascular events,” said the FDA.
Azithromycin is commonly prescribed to battle bacterial infections like pneumonia, bronchitis and sexually transmitted diseases, and marketed under the brand names Zithromax, Zmax and a treatment course commonly referred to as a “Z pack.”
FDA warning for erythromycin
Under adverse reactions listed in the FDA drug label, erythromycin — commonly prescribed for bacterial infections such as bronchitis, whooping cough, pneumonia and dental surgery — has been associated with a risk factor for sudden death and abnormal heart rhythms including rapid heartbeat.
FDA warning for clarithromycin
Clarithromycin — commonly prescribed for bacterial infections affecting the skin and respiratory system — is not only associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death, but also with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
The FDA drug label indicates clarithromycin is associated with prolongation of the QT interval (a heart rhythm disorder that can cause serious irregular heart rhythms) and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Additionally, cases of torsades de pointes (a specific type of abnormal heart rhythm) have been reported in patients receiving clarithromycin. Fatalities have been reported, say the FDA.
The bottom line
In 2011, approximately 40 million people in the United States were prescribed azithromycin, according to the FDA.
15 things you should never eat or drink if you want a flat stomach
Stomach bloating is natural, but certain foods are more likely to cause it than others.Examples include lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, dairy, apples, and grains.Many of these foods have nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, so they’re instead fermented by bacteria, which can lead to gas and bloating.
Stomach bloating is unfortunately a normal and natural part of life.
But some foods cause more bloat than others.
That’s because many of these foods contain nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, like lactose, a natural sugar that’s found in dairy.
FODMAPs are another example. These short-chain carbohydrates can’t be digested by the small intestine, so instead they end up in the large intestine, which is where they’re fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating.
While not eating or drinking the foods and beverages listed in this slide show won’t help you lose weight or get washboard abs, it will help you avoid bloating, and will thus have you looking leaner.
Dairy products like cheese and milk can cause digestion issues – especially if you’re lactose-intolerant or sensitive. Lactose is a natural sugar that’s found in dairy products, and those who are lactose intolerant don’t have the enzymes needed to break down this sugar.
Luckily, there are plenty of dairy substitutes out there, like soy or almond milk, which are ideal for those who are lactose intolerant or just looking to avoid dairy.
Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale all fall under the category of cruciferous vegetables. These foods are high in a number of nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and fiber. They’re even thought to help prevent cancer.
But they also contain raffinose, a type of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t break down because we lack a certain enzyme to do so. Instead, raffinose is fermented by bacteria, a primary cause of gas and bloating.
If you don’t want to give up these vegetables, try roasting or steaming them to make them easier to digest.
Foods high in sodium
Most Americans consume more salt than the recommended daily amount. Our bodies’ natural reaction to eating too much salt is to retain water, and when the body holds on to water, it bloats.
As a guideline, most healthy people should be capping their sodium intake at 2,300 mg per day. Those who have diabetes or high blood pressure, or who are over 50, should only be consuming 1,500 mg per day.
Packaged and processed foods, like canned soups, deli meats, and pre-made sauces, commonly contain large amounts of sodium
Just like high-sodium foods, alcohol causes the body to retain water, leading to puffiness and bloating. Drinking can also trigger constipation, which leaves people feeling bloated as well.
It might be hard to believe that watermelon could do anything to your body, considering it’s mostly water. But it contains plenty of fructose, a natural sugar that gives the fruit its sweetness. Many people are unable to absorb fructose, which is why watermelon can lead to bloating.
Legumes refer to plants that grow fruit in the form of a pod. Examples include beans, peas, lentils, and soybeans. These foods are all high in fiber and protein, which is what makes them good for you, but also what makes them hard to digest.
Because legumes are packed with fiber that our bodies can’t absorb, our gut bacteria goes to work on them instead, which causes gas and bloating.
To avoid this, try eating legumes with whole grains that are easy to digest like rice or quinoa, or soak dried beans overnight, which helps to break down non-digestible fiber.
When it comes to yogurt, it all depends on what kind you’re consuming. Plain yogurt can actually help your stomach because it contains probiotics, which are known to regulate digestion.
However, if you’re eating flavored yogurt that’s high in sugar, you’ll have more fermentation going on in your body, which means more gas and bloating.
Grains like rye and wheat contain fructan, a carb that many people have a hard time digesting.
According to multiple gastroenterologists, people often think gluten is irritating their stomachs when really it’s the fructan. When a carb can’t be absorbed, it’s instead fermented by gut bacteria, which leads to gas and bloating.1
No matter if it’s soda or sparkling water, any sort of fizzy beverage can lead to bloating. That’s because the bubbles present in these drinks cause your stomach to inflate.
Surprisingly, onions contain carbs. More specifically, they contain the same carb that’s found in grains: fructan.
Fructan is not only hard for your body to absorb, but also leads to more water being stored in the intestine. This, in turn, can cause bloating.
Many people gravitate toward artificial sweeteners because they have no calories. But calories aren’t everything, and sweeteners like xylitol and sorbitol take a long time for the small intestine to digest, which is why substances like these can lead to bloating.
The five artificial sweeteners that the FDA has approved – and therefore some of the most common – are: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose.
There isn’t anything specific in this popular snack that causes bloating; it’s simply the volume of popcorn that most people eat which causes your stomach to expand more than usual.
One serving of popcorn is anywhere from three to four cups. One cup is about the size of a tennis ball, which is a lot of popcorn for your stomach to hold.
As stated earlier, artificial sweeteners are a big culprit when it comes to bloating. Because sugar-free gum contains these sweeteners – mostly sugar alcohols – it can also cause gas and bloating.
Plus, the actual act of chewing gum isn’t great for your stomach either, because you swallow a lot of air doing that.
Apples contain three things that contribute to gas and bloating: fiber, fructose, and sorbitol. Fructose and sorbitol are natural sugars – although sorbitol is often used as an artificial sweetener in foods – that many people can’t tolerate.
Other fruits that contain sorbitol include peaches, pears, prunes, and plums.
While coffee is a diuretic, it’s also acidic, which is why it can lead to a swollen and irritated stomach for those who are sensitive.
And if you’re lactose-intolerant or even sensitive, adding milk to your coffee will only make things worse.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.Stomach bloating is natural, but certain foods are more likely to cause it than others. Examples include lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, dairy, apples, and grains.
Many of these foods have nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, so they’re instead fermented by bacteria, which can lead to gas and bloating.
Stomach bloating is, unfortunately, a normal and natural part of life. But some foods cause more bloat than others. That’s because many of these foods contain nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, like lactose, a natural sugar that’s found in dairy. FODMAPs are another example. These short-chain carbohydrates can’t be digested by the small intestine, so instead, they end up in the large intestine, which is where they’re fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating. While not eating or drinking the foods and beverages listed in this slide show won’t help you lose weight or get washboard abs, it will help you avoid bloating, and will thus have you looking leaner
It’s better not to brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they contained a lot of acid. Examples are citrus fruits, tomatoes, and fizzy drinks. The abrasive action of brushing can cause the acid to attack the tooth enamel and the layer underneath. It is best to wait at least half an hour before brushing.
2. Build muscle to fit into a smaller size
A kilogram of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of fat, but muscle is more compact and takes up less space than fat. This explains why a muscular person who weighs the same as a chubbier one will likely fit into a smaller pair of jeans.
3. Eat more calories to lose weight
Carbohydrates on their own may do nothing but spike your blood sugar, leaving you even hungrier than before. Adding proteins and fats like peanut butter and cheese will increase the calorie count of your meal, but will help you get full more quickly and stay satisfied for longer, which will lead to ingesting fewer calories in the long run.
4. Drink a hot beverage to help you cool off
In India it is the norm to drink hot tea in hot weather. It sounds crazy, but according to a study, a hot drink on a hot day will cool you off faster than a cold drink. When you drink a hot beverage, your body produces more sweat which, when it evaporates, cools you off.
5. Exercise to increase your energy levels
After a long day at work, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, but getting moving can actually energise you. Through exercise, we recharge tired cells by giving them more oxygen. Physical activity that builds muscle strength also improves the efficiency of the mitochondria that produce the energy in the cells.
6. ‘Freeze’ cardiac patients to save their life
Cooling a cardiac arrest patient’s core temperature to below 32.2 degrees Celsius – a process called “induced hypothermia”, either by injecting them with a cold saline solution or placing ice packs on them increases their chances of complete recovery.
Hypothermia – when your core body temperature drops so low that normal metabolism and bodily functions cease – can lead to death, but can also radically slow down the dying process.
7. Close the lid when you flush the toilet
You should always flush the toilet with the seat down. If you don’t, water particles from the toilet will float around your bathroom and finally land on surfaces like your toothbrush.
Experts say flushing creates an invisible cloud, called “toilet plume”, that’s expelled into the air by the force of the flush.
The toilet plume may contain faecal bacteria and other microorganisms like viruses.
If your hands are cold, it may be the result of the temperature. It may also mean you’re totally stressing out.
Fact: If you’re experiencing heightened stress or anxiety, it can overextend your nervous system, which causes blood vessels to constrict and inhibit your circulation.
So instead of reaching for a pair of mittens, you might work on taking a few deep breaths and putting that anxiety on ice.
You Have an Aching Jaw = You Could Have Lyme Disease
It’s one of the more difficult diseases to diagnose. But if you fear that you have Lyme Disease, take note of your jaw. If you’re suffering from chronic pain that comes and goes, the cause may indeed be this tick-borne disease.
Though a medical professional may see this jaw pain as TMJ—or “temporal mandibular joint disorder”—your body may be trying to tell you it’s something more serious, so be sure to ask about it, specifically.
You’re Blinking a Lot = You Have a Crush
According to body language expert Blake Eastman, our blink rate tends to jump when we’re emotionally excited. When you’re feeling attracted to a potential partner, your blinking goes crazy, exceeding the average of 10 blinks per minute.
Your Index Finger Is Shorter Than Your Ring Finger = You Should Get Your Prostate Checked
A study published in 2011 by the British Journal of Cancer looked at 1,500 prostate cancer patients and 3,000 healthy control subjects over the course of 15 years and found that the risk of cancer for guys with index fingers longer than their ring fingers were reduced by 33 percent. So if your index finger is shorter—get to the doctor for that checkup!
You Prefer Your Eyebrows Longer = You’re Better at Managing Stress
Jean Haner, a facial reading expert, told Cosmo that those who rock long eyebrows “tend to deal better with stress and typically have a lot of friends that they don’t mind listening to and helping out with their problems.”
On the flip-side, those who trim their eyebrows short “are typically a sign of someone who doesn’t deal with stress very well,” and that “these people usually don’t like having to deal with their friend’s dramas as well.”
You Instinctively Turn Your Feet Away from Someone = You Dislike Them
According to retired FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro, the direction we point our feet—even when we aren’t thinking about it—says much about our feelings about the person in front of us.
“If you’re in a room with someone you don’t like, you won’t scowl or make faces because you don’t want to come off as insensitive or mean,” he tells Prevention. “But your feet will almost immediately turn away from that person.”
On the flip side, pointing your toes directly at someone can mean you’re very much into them.
You Have A Desire to Chew Ice = You Need Iron
If you love nothing more than chugging an iced beverage so you can get to the ice cubes left at the bottom, it might be time to splash out for a bottle of multivitamins.
Research published in the journal Medical Hypothesis has found that these two things are connected. Your body needs iron to help carry oxygen to your brain and your muscles, and people who are lacking in iron have less oxygen in their blood. Researchers believe that the act of chomping down on ice triggers a response in which your body sends more blood to the brain, which may produce feelings of greater alertness.
If this sounds like you and you’re iron deficient, the best sources for getting more iron are meat, poultry, and fish. However, according to Eat This, Not That!, other great non-meat iron sources include pumpkin seeds, black beans, broccoli, and more.
You Have Red Hair = You’re More Sensitive to Pain
Pity the redhead. Those 152,656,386 souls on planet earth who are genetically disposed to having red locks may often be the butt of jokes, but there’s another downside to sporting strawberry-tinged hair: according to research, redheads are also more sensitive to pain.
The study, published in the journal Anesthesiology, found that redheads requiring higher levels of anesthesia during surgery than those who don’t have red hair.
This plant is very useful in the air purification process. Areca palm helps to remove toluene and xylene from the air inside and it can also help to increase the overall air purification. It’s very useful and beneficial for people who have asthma and need effective air purification.
This plant is also very useful in increasing the overall air quality and the air purification process. The money plant helps to reduce the toxins: benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from the air. This amazing air-purifying plant is great for people who have asthma, for people who have other lung problems and for people who are exposed to high city smog living conditions.
This remarkable plant promotes high air purification. Spider plant is suitable for decreasing the levels of formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene in the air. This plant is also very useful and great for placing in homes that have been painted recently. We can also mention that this plant is suitable for apartments or homes, which are exposed to city chemical air pollutants
Purple Waffle Plant
Do you have this plant in your home? Well, if your answer is no, then you definitely should. This remarkable plant will help you to eliminate the toxic compound – formaldehyde from the air. We can also mention that this plant will help you to increase overall air purification and it’s very useful and effective for increasing the quality of the air within any house or apartment. This plant is very good for people who live in the city, and they are exposed to high amounts of toxic smog and car fumes. People who live near the industrial factories should definitely get one of these.
This plant is very effective in removing the formaldehyde toxic compound from the air indoors and it’s also very useful for acting as a natural humidifier – for most areas inside the house. This amazing plant can help you remove xylene and toluene – two toxic compounds from the air inside. It’s also great for people who live in high polluted areas and where car fume exposure is at high levels. Bamboo palm is suitable for homes and shops, which may be exposed to gasoline
Variegated Wax Plant
Variegated wax plant will help you to improve the overall air quality in your home, by removing and eliminating benzene and formaldehyde from the air inside. You should also know that this plant will increase the overall air purification levels. The variegated wax plant can help people who suffer from lung diseases, such as: emphysema or asthma. This amazing plant is also very useful and beneficial for people who are exposed to car fumes, petrol, paint fumes, industrial or city smog, or heavy cleaning products.
Have you ever heard of lilyturf? Well, if you haven’t, then you should definitely read this – this amazing plant will help you to remove ammonia, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde from the air inside your house or apartment. This remarkable plant is capable of increasing the oxygen levels and it can help to improve the air quality. We can also mention that the lilyturf plant is also great for people who are exposed to cleaning products, paint fumes, city or industrial smog, or vehicle fumes. The lilyturf plant can help you clean the air for people who suffer from lung diseases, including asthma and emphysema.
You should definitely get one of this plants in your home, because it will help you remove the formaldehyde from the air. You should also know that this plant also works well as a natural type of air humidifier. This plant is very good in removing xylene and toluene from the air as well. Some people say that this plant is one of the best air-purifiers in the world. This remarkable plant is perfect for people who live in areas where exposure to gasoline exists. Boston fern is the best plant for homes that are exposed to city smog. And we can also mention that this plant is very useful for purifying the air for people who have asthma or other breathing problems.
Dwarf Date Palm
This plant is absolutely amazing. It will help you reduce the toxins: xylene, toluene and formaldehyde from the air inside your house or apartment. You should also know that this plant will increase the oxygen levels in your home and it’s very useful in improving the air quality in highly exposed areas. The dwarf date palm is great for placing in homes that may be exposed to paint fumes, factory smog, car fumes, or heavy cleaning solvents. This amazing air-purifying plant is very useful for improving the air quality for asthmatics and people who have other lung problems.
This plant is your best choice if you want to purify the air inside your house. We can also say that this plant is also very effective in removing xylene and toluene. The moth orchids plant can increase the air quality in your home significantly. It’s suitable for homes and apartments that are exposed to factory or city smoke, smoke or fumes. You should also know that this plant is very useful and beneficial for purifying the air in homes, which are freshly painted or where paint fumes exist.
Barberton daisy – it works great in removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from your home. This amazing plant is the best plant if you want to increase the oxygen levels in your house or your apartment. It will help you purify the air as well. This remarkable plans it very useful and beneficial for homes that are exposed to fuel fumes, car fumes, factory or city smog, smoke, etc. This plant is also very useful for people who are exposed to heavy cleaning solvents.
As you can see, these amazing plants will purify the air in your home, increase oxygen levels and remove all the toxic compounds from the air inside your house or apartment. And they are completely safe for you, your family and your pert. So, you should definitely get one of these plants. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share with your friends and family.
As with any information, seek medical help and answers before trying something new on your own. I did not write this nor do I agree or disagree with the article. I am just passing along information so you can make a informed decision on your own.
Metformin vs Berberine for Diabetes (Plus this yellow herb lowers blood pressure, fights parasites, and more)
By: Cat Ebeling, co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
Type 2 diabetes is fast becoming a real epidemic in civilized countries. The statistics show an ever-increasing trend of obesity, diabetes and its related complications like heart disease, kidney disease and peripheral neuropathy. Many experts are convinced that this fast-growing tidal wave of diabetes is the result of the global expansion of sugar, sugary soft drinks and major food corporations getting people addicted to terrible processed foods that are cheaper than most healthy foods and are heavily advertised to the masses.
However, type 2 diabetes has the potential to be completely reversed following dietary and lifestyle changes that dramatically reduce or eliminate sugar and starches.
Relying on lowering blood sugar with medication or insulin will not improve one’s health, nor will it counteract the effects of diabetes. In fact, relying on medications to lower blood sugar actually does NOT reduce the risk of death from any of the related health complications of diabetes of stroke, heart attacks, infections, and kidney disease. Aside from the fact that diabetes drugs do not actually do anything positive for a diabetic’s health, there are many negative side effects, many of which can be downright deadly.
In one large study, called the ACCORD study, that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, the 10,000 patients who were being treated with insulin or blood sugar-lowering drugs were monitored and evaluated for their risk of heart attack, strokes and death. The National Institutes of Health ended the study early because the medical intervention was leading to MORE deaths, heart attacks, and strokes.
Many of the conventional medical methods for lowering blood sugar actually increase insulin levels, which in turn causes more harm overall. Avandia, one of the world’s best-selling diabetes drugs, has over 50,000 lawsuits filed in the United States alone, because the drug makers failed to inform patients about possible life-threatening side-effects that include stroke, heart failure, heart attack, bone fractures, vision loss and death.
While many of these drugs do lower blood glucose levels, there seems to be no real evidence that any of the diabetes drugs actually reduce the risk of the complications of diabetes.
Most diabetes medications aim to increase insulin in the body to counteract the ever-rising levels of glucose. One of the big issues with this conventional treatment is the negative side effects that actually seem to exacerbate the complications of diabetes. Below is a list of most used diabetes meds and their primary side effects:
Metformin — Metformin increases insulin sensitivity. Metformin also lowers glucose production in the liver. Side effects include nausea and diarrhea, and weight gain. Another significant, documented side effect of Metformin is Vitamin B12 depletion, further increasing the chances of neuropathy.
Sulfonylureas—This class of medications help your body secrete more insulin. Side effects include low blood sugar and weight gain.
Meglitinides – These medications stimulate the pancreas to secrete more insulin. Side effects include low blood sugar and weight gain.
Thiazolidinediones – Like metformin, these medications make the body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin. This class of medications has been linked to weight gain and increased risk of heart failure and fractures. Rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) are examples of thiazolidinediones.
SGLT2 inhibitors. They prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood. Instead, the sugar is excreted in the urine. Side effects may include yeast infections, urinary tract infections, increased urination and hypotension.
Insulin therapy. Some people need insulin therapy as well. Insulin lowers blood glucose and is a fat storing hormone, so it causes weight gain. Insulin promotes inflammation in the body when used in excess, causes hormone imbalance and increases body fat storage.
Keep in mind, however, that while most of these diabetes medications may lower blood sugar levels, increase insulin, or make the body more sensitive to insulin, they still do not prevent the serious and life-threatening complications of diabetes: High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, poor sex drive, infertility, blood clots, kidney failure, infections and amputations, cancer, depression, heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s, and more.
Insulin treatment also creates a greater susceptibility to cancer. The connection between diabetes and cancer is fairly clear—in fact, several studies have shown up to a 30% great likelihood that diabetic patients on supplemental insulin can develop colon, breast or prostate cancers.
Berberine for Type 2 Diabetes Shown to be as Effective as Diabetes Medication
There are a few natural solutions to helping to treat type 2 diabetes, and berberine is one that has a strong background of being especially effective for type 2 diabetes.
Berberine is a powerful plant extract with several impressive health benefits. It can effectively lower blood sugar, help with weight loss and improve heart health—two things that most pharmaceutical diabetic medications cannot do. It is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and is effective against diarrhea, intestinal parasites, Candida albicans, and possibly Methicillin-resistant staph aureus.
Berberine works to:
Decrease insulin resistance, making the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin more effective.
Increase glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose inside cells.
Decrease glucose production in the liver.
Slow the digestion of carbohydrates.
Increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Berberine is a bioactive plant extract that comes from several different types of plants, including goldthread, Oregon grape root, barberry, tree turmeric and goldenseal. It has been used in both Ayruvedic and Chinese medicine for more than 2500 years and is now being used and studied extensively in the modern world.
Several impressive studies show that berberine can lower blood glucose as effectively as the drug metformin, without the negative side effects. Two of the best-known peer-reviewed studies published in the journals Metabolism and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology compared berberine in one group to metformin (Glucophage) in another group. The berberine group had very similar blood sugar-lowering effects as the metformin group. In addition, the berberine also effectively reduced the patients’ A1C, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure… Three things that metformin cannot do!
Hemoglobin A1c decreased from 9.5% to 7.5% (about a 21% reduction)
Fasting blood glucose (FBG) decreased from 190.8 to 124.2 mg/dl
Postprandial blood glucose (PBG) decreased from 356.4 to 199.8 mg/dl
Triglycerides from 100.5 to 79.2 mg/dl
Berberine works by stimulating uptake of glucose into the cells, improves insulin sensitivity, and reducing glucose production in the liver. This review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology further expanded on berberine’s role in treating type diabetes:
“BBR [berberine] is used to treat diabetic nephropathy (DPN), diabetic neuropathy (DN), and diabetic cardiomyopathy due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”
How does berberine work?
Berberine works by activating a metabolism-regulating enzyme within the body’s cells called AMPK (adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase). Yes, that’s a mouthful! AMPK regulates a variety of biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances. Think of AMPK as your metabolic master switch. Definitely something you want to keep switched to ‘ON’!
Metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes, occurs when these AMPK pathways are switched off. This triggers high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and energy issues. AMPK shifts energy to cellular repair and maintenance. Activating AMPK produces similar benefits for diabetes and metabolic syndrome as exercise, dieting and weight loss.
Berberine and Weight Loss
When overweight adults took 500mg of berberine 3 times daily for 12 weeks, they easily lost an average of 5 pounds. The researchers note that,
“…berberine has potential clinical application in reducing visceral fat and controlling obesity.”
Berberine has the ability to inhibit fat storage and also improves insulin function, leptin and adiponectin. Leptin is a very powerful hormone produced by fat cells. It tells your brain whether you should eat or not. Leptin is the way your fat cells speak to your brain. If Leptin signaling is working, when fat stores are full, they cause a surge in leptin which tells your brain to stop eating and storing fat. The problem is of course, when this signaling goes awry, it causes excessive eating and fat storage.
Adonipectin is a hormone secreted by fat cells that helps control glucose regulation and fatty acid oxidation. Obese people are often low in adonipectin, but berberine helps to increase adonipectin which helps to normalize metabolic function.
So, the bottom line here is that berberine could reduce the size of your fat cellsand cut down on the number of them as well.
Berberine is also thought to enhance brown fat, which is a heat-generating special type of fat that burns energy instead of storing it. It is loaded with active mitochondria cells that convert this fat into energy which produces heat. This animal study shows how berberine increases energy expenditure, helps burn fat, improves cold tolerance and enhances active brown adipose tissue.
Berberine for Memory and Cognitive Function
Blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and diabetes go hand in hand with memory and cognitive dysfunction. In fact, it is now thought that high blood sugar and diabetes are connected to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Berberine has been found to enhance memory function in some animal studies, by preserving a brain chemical, acetylcholine, that is important for memory, focus and cognition. The result for berberine was improved learning and memory, along with lower oxidative stress.
How to take Berberine
According to Dr. Josh Axe, berberine should be taken two to three times a day. Generally, most studies have used safe dosages starting at 500 mg a dose. So, 500 mg two to three times a day is a good place to start. Take berberine with a meal or on a full stomach to avoid any stomach upset and to take advantage of the post meal glucose and lipid spike that often occurs. It is best to start with just one dose/day and increase slowly to ensure they can stay in control.
When you take berberine, please note that insulin may need to be cut back significantly, so monitor blood sugar frequently. Many diabetics have been able to totally stop their other pharmaceutical diabetes medications, with the inclusion of berberine. Be sure to monitor blood sugar regularly and consult your physician. Look for a berberine product with a standardized berberine extract so that the dosages and strength are consistent.
Berberine Side Effects
If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, including antibiotics, then it is highly recommended that you speak to your doctor. This is especially important if you are currently taking blood sugar-lowering medications, so that your physician can monitor your blood sugar and current medication levels.
Diabetics who are using other medications must use caution when using this supplement to avoid dangerously low blood sugar levels. People with low blood pressure should also be careful when using it since it can naturally lower blood pressure. Pregnant and nursing women should not take berberine.
Overall, this natural compound has an outstanding safety profile. Primary side effects are minor, but could result in some cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation or mild stomach pain. Stay with the smaller dosages — spread out through your day and after meals — to avoid most of these side effects.
In addition to its huge benefits for diabetes, berberine is helpful for other health issues as well including:
The World Health Organization reported that zinc deficiency has become quite common in the recent years. It is a widespread epidemic that affects the well-being and health of many populations.
The average American goes on with their daily routine surrounded by multivitamin supplements and fortified foods at every supermarket in the country. As a result, they have become stranger to various global health problems that affect millions of people on a daily basis.
Studies show that zinc deficiency is actually a common micronutrient deficiency. It is associated with intellectual impairments, poor growth, perinatal complications and increased risk of mortality and morbidity.
As the name suggests, zinc deficiency is a condition when the body does not have the recommended amount of zinc for proper functioning.
Zinc is critical to maintaining our body’s immune system. It is essential for gene transcription; apoptosis, which is responsible for killing dangerous bacteria in our body; the growth of T cells and other protective functions of our cell membranes.
Poor Neuropsychologic Performance
An individual that has low zinc levels will most likely experience motor disorders and poor neuropsychologic performance. In order to experience growth in the neurological function, one must have to balance the consumption of zinc and other nutrients.
Zinc deficiency has been associated with hair loss in the past. According to researchers, low zinc levels can cause hypothyroidism, which is the thinning of hair. There have been studies in India that claim thyroid hormones play in important role in the successful zinc absorption of the body.
Rashes and Acne
Various skin issues can also be linked to low zinc levels in the body. Those who do not consume enough zinc on a daily basis may develop skin rashes and acne. This is because the wound healing process is affected and delayed due to the lack of zinc in the body.
Intestinal permeability also referred to as a leaky gut, is a sign that your body is not consuming enough zinc. There have been clinical studies showing how zinc can tighten the gut.