Diabetes~ Berberine and Metformin

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 cells and 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:

  • Anti-aging
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immune challenges
  • Joint problems
  • Low bone density

    Did you know? / Fact Friday Information Share

    Hey Everyone, just trying something new. It is fun to learn something new, right? Well I thought I would try posting on Fridays, some useful information.

    I love finding out new things myself, so I hope you enjoy.

    MwsR ❤

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    Keto? Why/ information share



    What is The Ketogenic Diet?

    The science behind the Ketogenic Diet:
    The keto diet causes the human body to enter a state of ketosis which means that the body produces energy by the process known as ketogenesis. ketogenesis occurs mainly in the liver, where fat is metabolized to produce ketone bodies which are used to power the body. Ketogenesis depends on the levels of carbohydrate that is available. If an adequate amount of carbohydrate is available, the body metabolizes it and uses it immediately, as fuel. If excess carbohydrate is available, a portion is metabolized to produce energy for immediate use, a potion is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles for use between meals when necessary and the excess carbohydrate is converted to fat by the liver and stored in fat calls.Ketogenic Diet

    The body cannot burn fat directly, it needs to use glucose or convert fat to ketones.

    The Keto diet transforms the body into a fat burning machine by forcing it to run almost entirely on ketones produced from fat. It has been proven to cause weight loss while enhancing performance and improving health.

    The Keto diet may even help to prevent age-related conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and certain types of cancers. Researchers have found, in a recent  study conducted in the UK, that the ketone known as β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) protects cells in the body from ‘internal stress’ that causes genetic damage in cells that result in ageing.

    Ketogenic Diet Menu

    Some people find it easy to follow a structured program. If you are that person, consider a meal plan for beginners. To achieve and maintain ketosis, consume of less than 50 grams of carbs per day, ideally below 20 grams is the optimum goal. The fewer carbs, the more effective.

    Creating a keto meal plan on your own is not easy, especially since eating a diet high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people accustomed to traditional carb-heavy diets.

    Set yourself up for success:

    • Make a plan and set a start date
    • Stock up on allowed foods, plan meals and snack options
    • Confirm with your physician that you can safely adapt the Keto lifestyle and discuss how your body will change the way it metabolizes energy.
    • Consider bloodwork to check cholesterol, vitamin D, and other markers that may change while you are on the keto diet.

    Ketogenic Diet Ratio

    The ketogenic diet consists of a 70/20/10 ratio of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrate. The ideal macronutrient ration for each meal is 70-80 percent healthy fats, 20-25 percent protein and 5-10 percent carbohydrate.

    A diet consisting of low levels of carbohydrate, approximately 5-10 percent, causes the liver to use the stored glycogen to produce fuel for the body. After the glycogen is depleted, the body turns to fat to produce acetyl-CoA which accumulates and then activates ketogenesis. The ketones that produce energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate. Ketone levels are regulated by both insulin which reduces ketone production and glucagon which stimulates the production of ketones.

    The quickest way to achieve Ketosis is by fasting, which is unsustainable. The alternative is the ketogenic diet, consuming low levels of carbohydrates, enough to produce ketosis.

    Most non-diabetics on a ketogenic diet reach a beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB) level of 3 milimolar (mM) which is far below the unsafe level of 15(mM).


    Ketogenic Food/Grocery List

    The Ketogenic Diet Food List:

    • Meat
    • Leafy Green vegetables
    • Non-starchy vegetables
    • Full-fat Dairy products
    • Nuts and Seeds
    • Avocados
    • Berries
    • Fats such as Coconut Oil

    Food to avoid while following the Keto Diet are:

    • Sugars including honey and maple syrup
    • Grains especially rice and wheat products
    • Most fruits
    • White or sweet potatoes
    • Root vegetables such as carrots,or beets
    • Pulses – beans, peas, lentils

    Ketogenic Benefits

    Appetite control
    On the Keto diet, you eat if and when you are hungry. Your body burns fat 24-7 and having access to a supply of stored fat for energy should dramatically reduce the frequent that you experience the feeling of hunger. This makes intermittent fasting easy, speeds up weight loss and may also help to reverse type 2 diabetes. Feeling hungry less often can be a great benefit for those who suffer from addiction to food or sugar, and also those suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia.

    Constant energy and mental performance
    Ketosis results in a constant supply of ketones to the brain and the brain functions normally. Without sugar-highs resulting from carbohydrates, many have reported improved focus and concentration.

    Stable blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes
    A keto diet controls high insulin levels and is known for actually reversing type 2 diabetes. This has been found in multiple studies and reported by many on the Keto diet. It makes perfect sense because ketosis goes hand in hand with low blood-sugar levels.

    Increased physical endurance
    The Keto diet can improve physical endurance because of the constant access to the energy stored in fat cells. On a carbohydrate-rich diet, after the body uses the available carbohydrate, it turns to carbohydrate stored as glycogen which only lasts for a few hours of intense exercise.

    The keto diet has been used as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children since the 1920s. Recently, the keto diet has also been proven beneficial for adults with epilepsy. Patients are free of Seizures on less medication or in some cases, come off medication completely.

    Other benefits
    Additional benefits include:

    • normal blood pressure,
    • less acne,
    • Improvement or no migraine headaches
    • weight loss
    • many more

    Keto Myths

    • Your brain stops working because if needs carbs. That’s wrong.
    • Ketosis, as a result of the Keto diet is very different from ketoacidosis which is a medical emergency.
    • Other myths based on misunderstanding- it kill your kidneys or destroy your bones? Will it stop your thyroid from working?

    Ketogenic – 5 Health Conditions

    Ketogenic eating have become incredibly popular. Early research suggests this high-fat, very low-carb eating may benefit several health conditions. Although some of the evidence is from case studies and animal research, results from human controlled studies are also promising.

    Here are 5 health conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic eating.

    1. Ketogenic eating hasbeen shown to reduce seizure frequency and severity in many children and adults with epilepsy who don’t respond well to drug therapy.

    2. Ketogenic eating may reduce abdominal obesity, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome.

    3. People with certain types of glycogen storage disease may experience a dramatic improvement in symptoms while following a ketogenic plan. However, more research is needed.

    4. Women with PCOS following a ketogenic plan may experience weight loss, reduction in insulin levels and improvement in reproductive hormone function.

    5. Ketogenic eating has been shown to reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes. In some cases, values return to a normal range, and medications can be discontinued or reduced.

    With respect to cancer and several other serious diseases on this list, a ketogenic eating should be undertaken only in addition to standard therapies under the supervision of a doctor or qualified healthcare provider.

    Also, no one should consider the ketogenic eating a cure for any disease or disorder on its own. Nonetheless, the ketogenic eatings’ potential to improve health is very promising.

    All evidence & citations are from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health