Berberine: A Natural Blood Sugar Manager

Diabetes is complicated and complicates other diseases. Sometimes, however, simple interventions can reduce those complications.

Berberine is a compound found in numerous plants, some of which may be growing in your back yard (Oregon Grape and Goldenseal). This natural substance has been found to support healthy blood sugar levels, HgA1c levels, triglycerides, healthy cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. These improvements were seen when used alone, but had better outcomes with combined with lifestyle modifications and/or oral glycemic lowering medications such as Metformin.

Berberine has also been shown to support liver health by reducing fatty deposits and reducing liver enzymes. Rat studies show improved kidney health.

Berberine has antimicrobial properties and has been used for bacterial, viral, and parasite infections. This anti-microbial action may help re-balance gastrointestinal bacteria resulting in reduced glucose absorption and increased short chain fatty acid production. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties. Side effects are few and may include gastrointestinal disturbance, such as diarrhea or constipation. It has been shown to be used safely with prescription diabetic medications. With these characteristics, it makes sense that Berberine is part of a diabetic supplement plan.

Dr. Rodgers provides each diabetic patient with an individualized plan to slowly and safely correct blood sugar levels. She regularly prescribes berberine in addition to diet changes, exercise, and reduced toxin exposure. Please call her office if you have questions or are interested in starting her program. Phone number: 208-275-0007.


Bang, P. Application of Berberine on Treating Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int J Endocrinol. 2015; 2015: 905749.Published online 2015 Mar 11. doi: 10.1155/2015/905749

Lan, J. Meta-analysis of the Effect and Safety of Berberine in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipemia and Hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol.  2015 Feb 23;161:69-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.09.049. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Zhang H et al. Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression. Metabolism clinical and experimental. 209, Oct; 59(2): 285-292.

Kong, W et al. Berberine Reduces Insulin Resistance Through Protein Kinase C-dependent Up-Regulation of Insulin Receptor Expression. Metabolism. 2009 Jan;58(1):109-19.