The statistics on diabetes are staggering. Currently, the number of American adults with diabetes is 75 percent higher than it was 20 years ago. And more and more patients are suffering with kidney disease, vision loss, amputations, and other complications of diabetes.
The current approach to diabetes is not working. And actually, it’s making things worse. Patients with type 2 diabetes are overprescribed oral medications with potentially deadly side effects, and many are inappropriately started on ever-increasing doses of insulin that dramatically increase weight gain, making the problem far worse.
Doctors insist their patients monitor their blood sugar with frequent finger-stick tests, which makes sense for those on insulin but is a complete waste of time and money for most type 2 diabetics.
Worst of all, conventional physicians ignore the most effective—and least expensive—natural treatments, which are our only real hope for turning the tide on this devastating disorder. One of the most impressive in this arena is berberine. The benefits of berberine are extensive, from blood sugar control to cardiovascular health.
Berberine is a natural compound found in goldenseal, barberry, and other medicinal herbs. This safe, well-tolerated extract is as effective as prescription drugs for lowering blood sugar.
A recent meta-analysis of 14 clinical trials involving 1,068 diabetic patients concluded, “Compared with oral hypoglycaemics including metformin, glipizide, or rosiglitazone, berberine did not demonstrate a significantly better glycaemic control but showed a mild antidyslipidemic effect.”
In plain English: The benefits of berberine for blood sugar were impressive. It worked every bit as well as oral diabetes drugs—but unlike the drugs, it also lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Here’s where the benefits of berberine really get interesting. Diabetes isn’t just a matter of managing blood sugar. What patients need to be most concerned about is their dramatically increased risk of debilitating complications, and berberine excels in this area.
Studies suggest it has ameliorative effects on diabetes-related kidney damage. It’s been shown to reduce unhealthy fatty deposits in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which is epidemic in diabetic and obese individuals). Berberine also facilitates weight loss and protects against the deadliest of all complications: cardiovascular disease.
In addition to reducing cholesterol and other lipids, this supplement enhances endothelial health, which improves blood pressure control and discourages plaque buildup in the artery walls.
In one study, recently diagnosed patients with diabetes and cholesterol abnormalities took either 500 mg of berberine or a placebo twice a day. After three months, berberine supplementation not only significantly lowered blood sugar but also triglycerides (35.9 percent), LDL cholesterol (21 percent), and total cholesterol (18 percent)—compared to minimal declines in cholesterol and an increase in triglycerides in the control group. Furthermore, the group taking berberine had lower blood pressure (average drop of 7/5 mm Hg systolic/diastolic) and modest weight and abdominal fat loss.
You don’t have to have diabetes to reap the benefits of berberine. Research also supports its potential for the treatment of many other health conditions and conditions beyond blood sugar, including bacterial and fungal infections, the prevention of some types of cancer, protection against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, and bone and cartilage regeneration.
Berberine side effects are minimal, and it is generally considered safe and well tolerated. In some people though, it can cause constipation, which usually clears up over time or with a reduction in dosage.
The typical dosage for berberine is 500 mg 2–3 times a day.
It’s never too late! These proven tips can help you get off the “sugary slope” and keep your blood sugar balanced, for good. (You won’t believe secret #6!)
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