Berberine is not a weight loss supplement. Berberine is for health promotion. A pill by itself cannot help you shed those excess pounds, without the potential for massive side effects.
I have seen experts claim that berberine is not beneficial, because it doesn’t cause weight loss. What is important to understand is that when you are talking about natural agents, they work along multiple mechanisms and affect multiple bodily systems such as:
- Liver detoxification
- Bacterial balance
- Insulin sensitivity
- Act as an antioxidant
- Promote feelings of well being
- And the list could go on
Compound Effect of Berberine
I didn’t mention weight loss, but what happens when antioxidant levels are up, insulin sensitivity improves, liver detox pathway are more efficient?
Cellular stress goes down.
Energy levels goes up.
Appetite regulation improves.
Inflammatory pathways are down regulated.
Better recovery from workouts, more efficient sleep, less ups and downs in blood sugar, more consistent whole food choices.
In contrast to a pharmaceutical which forces the body to perform an action it doesn’t have the resources to sustain, leading it to steal from other tissues like the heart muscle and bone structure, herbal extracts like berberine, signal the body to perform in a more desirable pattern, while still permitting the body to use its innate wisdom (that is far superior to our own) to recalibrate, make adjustments and get our system running most efficiently.
Recognize that every cell in our body is always aiming for survival. If you force the body’s hand via pharmaceutical means, a stress response is being incurred at the cellular level. With each passing day, week, month, year, cellular balance is getting more and more dysregulated.
How Pharmaceuticals work in the body
For example, I had a patient who was recommended statin medications to bring her cholesterol down from 270 to under 200. She didn’t want to do it, but she got tired of fighting off the fear tactics of her primary doctor so she started on the statin and her labs came back showing the suppression of cholesterol had worked.
Her total cholesterol was now 185, but she gained zero health in the process. In fact, her VLDL (most dangerous LDL particle) went up, her triglycerides went up and her HDL (good cholesterol) went down. But her primary doc was happy because her total cholesterol was within “normal” range.
She has lower cholesterol and is now at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke but one value on her labs improved. This type of narrow thinking is pervasive in the medical community.
How Berberine works in the body
On the other hand, berberine will not just force her cholesterol to go down in a month, but will work through various mechanisms in the body to facilitate detoxification, act as an antioxidant, and support a healthy inflammatory response.
Over time by supporting these processes, not only will cholesterol come into an optimal range but her body as a whole will accumulate health.
Many people find themselves wanting to transform their health state, but after years of ignorance related to health and/or poor decision making, find themselves way behind. Many times digging out of ill-health seems too deep; utilizing herbal extracts like berberine can make this process more manageable. If you need help establishing healthy eating habits, start with this post on 7 Healthy Eating Habits.