How Berberine Helps In Glucose Management In Diabetes

Berberine is an alkaloid, a plant metabolite with antioxidants, used in Ayurveda for many years, especially for diabetes and dyslipidemia.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Apr 14, 2023 14:15 IST
How Berberine Helps In Glucose Management In Diabetes

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Diabetes has become a common term and every person would know someone who has diabetes or struggling to manage blood sugar levels. Glucose management encompasses several things to take care of, like eating more complex carbohydrates, foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, exercising, meditation, supplements, and unfortunately, medication. Even though it may seem challenging to manage diabetes, there are a few helping hands that can aid in controlling blood sugar levels. These, in particular, are natural compounds that reduce insulin resistance naturally, and one such plant metabolite is Berberine. To learn more about it, we talked to Maitri Trivedi, Nutritionist, Pure Nutrition Naturals.

What is Berberine

Berberine is an alkaloid, a plant metabolite with antioxidants, used in Ayurveda for many years, especially for diabetes and dyslipidemia. Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder, meaning lifestyle changes would be able to reverse the condition.

Type 2 diabetes occurs explicitly when the body cannot optimise and use the sugar that enters via food due to insulin resistance. Surprisingly, this resistance does not occur due to increased sugar intake but due to increased inflammation and oxidative stress. And thus, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory foods, and healthy fats come into the picture.

Diabetes can also lead to other illnesses and invite more lifestyle disorders, including cardiovascular diseases, dyslipidemia, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, and more.

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Berberine in Diabetes

Studies on Berberine have been extensive and have shown promising results in managing blood glucose levels. It aids in better and slower absorption of sugar in the gut, manages glycogenolysis in the liver, and supports healthy metabolism and energy production. Berberine helps reduce alanine and aspartate transaminase levels, which are enzymes involved in glucose metabolism. 

Metformin is a widespread medication for people with diabetes and Berberine has proven to work similarly. Berberine helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar in the gut, managing glycogenolysis in the liver, and supporting healthy metabolism and energy production. Berberine regulates AMP-activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) and Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase (MAPK), which help regulate and increase glucose uptake from the blood into the skeletal muscles, thus regulating blood sugar levels.

Berberine has also proven to help significantly in managing lipid profile levels. Additionally, it has been used as a supportive treatment for issues related to cardiovascular diseases, depression, and fatty liver.


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Dosage and Managing Diabetes

Concentrations of certain compounds can be challenging to attain naturally from whole foods; hence, supplementation comes into the picture. So how much Berberine should you consume every day? 500 mg of Berberine supplement can be a good start, although it is essential to consult your doctor before starting with any supplements.

Go for a holistic approach, including diet modification, rather than a single supplement, to manage diabetes.

Diet modification includes consuming soluble and insoluble fibres, healthy fats, Omega 3 fatty acids, good quality complete protein sources, and complex carbohydrates. In addition, balanced meals that include local and fresh vegetables and fruits can deliver tons of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals essential for healthy living.

Exercise, sleep, and meditation are crucial for managing and reducing stress. However, when stress persists, cortisol secretion is hampered, which leads to increased inflammation, thus progressing diabetes silently. 

Wholesome nutrition and correct supplementation become essential when reversing diabetes and walking towards better health and life experiences.

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