If you are one of the millions of people who have struggled with weight loss, we know how hard it can be to shed those extra pounds. We live in a society that has begun to glorify added weight and praise people for accepting their bodies no matter how out of shape they are. While we agree that everyone is unique, we also know that if you are carrying extra weight, you are unhealthy. It’s not about shaming anyone; it’s about educating and helping people to be well and feel their best. The good news is there are powerful tools that can help you with weight loss and none of them come with a prescription. Read this informative article to learn how you can lose the weight you need to and become leaner and healthier than ever.
You may have heard of berberine referred to as “nature’s Ozempic.” If you’ve never used Ozempic or even heard of the drug, it’s a pharmaceutical that’s originally used to help control glucose in adults with type 2 diabetes. (1) Recently, medical doctors have been prescribing medications like Ozempic for weight loss. These drugs are in a class called GLP-1 agonists and they mimic the hormone that helps reduce your appetite. Most of these drugs are also very expensive and for those patients who don’t have health insurance, they can be unaffordable.
Berberine is a plant substance that’s found in various plants like goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grapes. For centuries, these plants have been used as medicines in Chinese and Native American cultures. They’ve been used to treat eye conditions, jaundice, acne, and even diarrhea. (2) You can now get berberine as a supplement and many people take it for high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and PCOS. More recently, it’s been a tool to help people lose weight.
How can a natural supplement help you lose those extra pounds? Berberine controls hormones that regulate fat cells. Once you take berberine orally, it gets absorbed in the small intestine and then enters your bloodstream. As it travels through your blood it goes to different cells and then targets multiple pathways. In a study, it was shown to inhibit the genes involved in fat formation. It can also increase the protein mRNA in skeletal muscles, which aids the production of oxygen and heat consumption and the metabolism of fat and glucose. (3)
Another study found that berberine is an AMPK agonist. It helps the biological responses in your body and it is an essential enzyme that improves glucose metabolism and increases energy production and reduces energy storage. It may look like a highly scientific process and it is, but the important part is that this can aid in healthy weight loss. The effects of berberine may lead to decreased fat storage through increased metabolism. If you’re overweight or suffering from a metabolic disorder, taking a quality berberine supplement may help.
An interesting thing that many people ask regarding supplements is if they’re safe to take. While it’s always good to check with your physician before taking anything new, we also recognize that many people trust pharmaceutical drugs without even reading the warning labels. Most prescription medications come with all kinds of dangerous side effects. When it comes to taking these diabetic medicines for weight loss, some of the dangers are kidney failure, thyroid cancer risk, and diabetic retinopathy, to name only a few. (4) Some of the side effects that are considered minor are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
In contrast, berberine is typically well-tolerated by most people. The fact that it is so safe and effective makes it an ideal supplement for weight loss. Yet, because it’s a supplement and therefore not regulated by the FDA, it cannot be labeled as safe or effective by any regulatory administration. Some medical doctors may take supplements and even believe in their benefits, but won’t take a stand due to the lack of research. This is why it’s so crucial that you work with a functional practitioner who is informed about supplements and can help get you on the best path for your overall wellness.
Not only is berberine a powerful supplement for weight loss but it’s also been studied for other issues and has shown to produce health benefits. Taking berberine may reduce depression symptoms, cancer growth and spread, inflammation, fatty liver disease, heart failure, and oxidative stress. (5) It may even reduce the growth of bacteria and viruses.
One of the ways berberine helps with weight loss is that it assists with blood sugar control. Berberine has been shown to lower glucose levels and helps your body better respond to insulin. This process lightens insulin resistance in the body. Insulin resistance can result in weight gain, making insulin even worse. It’s a dangerous cycle. Since berberine naturally improves insulin sensitivity, it can help you lose weight.
The dosage of berberine you take would depend on why you’re taking it. Since berberine can help many different health problems, it’s a good recommendation to ask your holistic specialist what your exact dose should be and how long you should take it. Some people may only need to take it for a few months, while others may use it for a year or longer. We usually start with the lowest effective dose to reduce the chances of any possible side effects. Typically 200 to 400 mg per day is suggested, but many people tolerate much higher doses.
When taking berberine for weight loss, it’s best to use it as a tool combined with a healthy diet and exercise. It’s not a magic pill that you take while continuing to eat junk food without including any physical exercise in your daily routine. As you incorporate berberine into your weight loss journey, you may see results within a few months, maybe sooner. (6) During this time, you want to change your eating habits and include whole foods that work with your body to supply the nutrients you need to be healthy. Avoid processed carbs and sugar. When you do this, it can speed up the results you see from taking berberine.
Given the safety of berberine over pharmaceutical drugs, it’s a much better option than taking a prescription, especially when taking it for something other than what it was intended. Berberine has been a safe treatment for different health issues for centuries. It’s not the latest health gimmick that will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
When you work with a functional doctor, you’ll get to the root cause of your issues and learn how to heal your body naturally, without expensive medications that can harm you. You get one life to live, so you want to make it the best one possible. If you need help pinpointing the exact cause of your health struggles, we are here to help. Call us today to learn how we can assist you with natural methods to improve your health.