This is a true story, it is an actual email I received a few days ago from one of you… it will help you understand why I like berberine!
Five years ago this month I was to ER for emergency surgery….. Hernia cut off my colon…anyway after a year of surgeries and pain I was told I had diabetes 2 devastated me after all I had gone through &survived. I was depressed & scared One day by some miracle I ran across your book! I have read at least 50 times!!! I have by lived by it for the last two years!
Results: I have lost my 100 lbs …no longer have acid reflux and this week my doctor took me off my metformin diabetic pills & said I no longer need them!!!!!
Thank you for my life!’ ~ Janet W.
Her note brought me to tears! Tears of joy for her, tears of sadness for those of you who remain misdiagnosed, undiagnosed or treated inappropriately. It made me really think about HOW doctors treat diabetes today, and it brought back a charged memory of “Dottie” a woman in one of my Gainesville Florida nursing homes, who had no arms or legs. Unimaginable and heart-wrenching, the visual is still fresh in my mind 20 years later.
I consider myself a foodie and would never want to give up traditional desserts and pasta, bagels and muffins. That said, if my blood sugar was elevated I would be highly motivated to alter my diet and try natural remedies before prescription drugs or shots. Twenty nine million people in the United States now have Type 2 diabetes and one in three adults have pre-diabetes, blood sugar levels higher than “normal,” but not quite high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Having pre-diabetes puts you on the fast track to getting full-blown Type 2 diabetes within five years. Complications include severe nerve pain, heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, or amputation of the toes, feet, or legs. Most people don’t know they have diabetes for about 10 years, because they are not tested correctly! You don’t just wake up with diabetes one day, you develop it silently. It’s too bad most people are tested improperly (but I can tell you what to do before it’s too late and the damage is done). Read my other article, Many Diseases Linked to High Insulin, it could change, maybe save your life!
We know that meal choices matter. We also know that exercise works. The big deal is how low thyroid is the number one missed cause of diabetes. I discuss that in my book, Diabetes Without Drugs. As a pharmacist, I’m aware of the side effects and interactions associated with medications, so today I’m going to spotlight berberine.
Berberine is a compound that scientists extract from the Oregon Grape plant which is the state flower for Oregon in the United States. It grows beautiful yellow flowers and blue grapes (but not the kind of grapes you are thinking of, these are different).
Medicinal uses of berberine have been documented in China since 3000 BC. More recently, there are scientific papers to show all kinds of cool things! Like how berberine lowers blood glucose (sugar) as effectively as metformin, a popular prescription medicine for diabetes. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?! Berberine is just as effective as this strong medicine but without as many side effects. That gets my attention. A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2008 found that berberine caused a significant reduction in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and improved cholesterol ratios. In this particular study, 1,000 mg was administered as the total daily dose. Another study (animal) suggests that berberine can prevent pre-diabetes from developing.
What else you wonder? Berberine kills herpes simplex virus (HSV) which is often treated with the prescription drug acyclovir. Berberine protects neurons in your brain and reduces inflammation, so it helps with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Amazingly, when combined with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, berberine displays strong anti-cancer effects against ovarian cancer cells.
Berberine is completely natural and sold nationwide as a dietary supplement. Most naturopaths recommend 500 mg once, twice or even three times daily. The dosage varies greatly so you should consult a trained professional. Use and dosage depends on your medical history, liver function and the condition for which you are taking it.
Keep in mind, berberine is a natural blood thinner. It also enhances the effects of diabetic medications, possibly to your detriment if your blood sugar drops rapidly. It’s definitely not recommended if you are pregnant since it’s a uterine stimulant. Physicians often underestimate herbs but as far as I’m concerned, plants are medicine too. As many of you already know, I am so proud of the book I wrote Diabetes Without Drugs. This can help many of you as well. I get many wonderful emails from all of you, but this particular one brought me to tears. It is my mission to help alleviate suffering and also my honor to be part of your lives. <3
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.