Berberine is a plant-derived product effective in lowering blood sugar in diabetics, and also in lowering cholesterol levels. The method of action is to increase expression of the insulin receptor. In one study, berberine hydrochloride given to 50 type 2 diabetics lowered HgbA1c by 18%, fasting blood glucose by 25%, and triglycerides by 17%. These effects were similar to those of metformin and of rosiglitazone, two drugs commonly used to treat diabetes.
Our Berberine formulation, called BerberMAX, also contains grapeseed extract. The dosage is 1000 mg, or three capsules daily, in divided doses. We prescribe it alone, mainly for patients with prediabetes, or HgbA1c 5.7-6.5%. It may also be used in combination with Diaxinol, another formulation containing chromium, vanadium and alpha lipoic acid. These supplements act together to further reduce blood sugar.
Berberine is compatible with medications used for treating diabetes. Side effects are minimal. After starting berberine, wait 6-8 weeks before measuring HgbA1C and cholesterol. It takes that long to assess full effects.
Allan Sosin MD