Pin It

Are There Side Effects of Berberine Supplements?

Send to Kindle

Berberine has several amazing benefits but someone recently asked me, what are the side effects of Berberine? I wasn’t familiar with many so I did some research to find out if there were any.

These are the Potential Side Effects of Berberine:

One article I found from The Examiner lists things to know about Berberine, including side effects of berberine:

  • Berberine is able to activate an enzyme called AMPK (Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase)
  • Due to AMPK  inhibition, berberine is normoglycemic (reduces blood sugar only if elevated). However, the reduction in blood sugar from berberine may make other hypoglycemics more likely to cause reduced blood sugar.
  • High doses of berberine taken acutely, due to their poor intestinal uptake rate, may cause cramping and diarhhea; for this reason, berberine should be taken in multiple doses throughout the day.
  • Berberine is known to inhibit CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 (an enzyme responsible for metabolism of toxins, drugs, carcinogens, etc.)

Berberine is one of the few supplements in the Examine.com database with human evidence that establishes it to be as effective as pharmaceuticals.”

Now that’s interesting to me since unfortunately, there aren’t many sources that would state a supplement is as effective as pharmaceuticals. It also seems to me that due to AMPK suppression, the article is suggesting that berberine may help reduce blood sugar if it is elevated, but would not, if it isn’t. So for someone with elevated blood sugar, the article suggests berberine would not have side effects and in fact, might function more like adaptogens do. If you are unfamiliar with adaptogens, they are herbs (usually) that work with the body to increase or decrease the bodies ability to adapt to a specific situation. In that case, it might actually be better than a drug since it doesn’t have side effects.

However, it does go on to state that due to the increase in AMPK, berberine will have muscle-suppressing effects. Not to worry though, this can be reversed by intense workouts and activities like weight-lifting and strength-training exercises such as push-ups.

Probably the most important side effects of berberine to note (in my opinion) is that it inhibits the enzyme CYP3A4, a member of the Cytochrome P450 family. What that means is that berberine may decrease how fast the liver breaks down medications. Those medications then could have a longer life and potentially have a stronger effect than intended. Avoiding berberine while on medication is similar to avoiding grapefruit juice when you’re on certain medications. Grapefruit juice has an enzyme that prevents drugs from breaking down in the body as quickly as intended, same as berberine.

What should the Berberine dosage be?

A general guideline would be that the dose is based on the actual berberine content, standardized is best. Berberine dosing could be from 500 mg -2,000 mg a day, in divided doses. Smaller, divided doses are best to avoid stomach upset, cramping, and diarrhea.

Berberine should be taken with a meal to be absorbed most effectively (due to the glucose and lipid release during eating).

Read about the Amazing Health Benefits of Berberine to see if berberine may benefit you.  Then, give berberine a try as a natural anti-microbial, to support healthy blood sugar levels, support heart health and provide super immune support. Buy some of the best brands of berberine supplements now.

If you have used berberine supplements, share you story below. There are many who are looking for alternatives to diabetes medication and would like to know if this works or doesn’t!

Other Articles You Might Find Interesting:

 Efficacy of Berberine in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes – This pilot study demonstrated that, “In the regulation of lipid metabolism, berberine activity is better than metformin. By week 13, triglycerides and total cholesterol in the berberine group had decreased and were significantly lower than in the metformin group. Liver and kidney functions were monitored in this study for side effects of berberine. No significant changes of plasma ALT, γ-GT and creatinine were observed during the 13 weeks of berberine treatment (Table 3). None of the patients were observed with pronounced (more than 50%) elevation in liver enzymes or creatinine.”

Berberine, a Natural Plant Product, Activates AMP-Activated Protein Kinase With Beneficial Metabolic Effects in Diabetic and Insulin-Resistant States – “These findings suggest that berberine displays beneficial effects in the treatment of diabetes and obesity at least in part via stimulation of AMPK activity.”

A clinical study on the short-term effect of berberine in comparison to metformin on the metabolic characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome – “Intake of Berberine improved some of the metabolic and hormonal derangements in a group of treated Chinese women with PCOS. “

 

, , , , , ,

44 Responses to Are There Side Effects of Berberine Supplements?

  1. M.johnson February 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    Have taken 500mg, twice a day for 2 days…of berberine.have gad horrible cramping, and diarrhea,almost like spasms.at a lost as to whether to continue..taking berberine for heart palpitations.

  2. Mindi February 11, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    Try reducing the dosage to 250 mg. twice a day. I find that if I take it a full fifteen minutes before I eat it does not cause those symptoms. If I take it with a meal I get the same symptoms you report. Hang in there!

  3. Lindy February 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    I have always reacted negatively to meds etc. Got off a 24 hour A Fib med that it appears was causing me many of its TERRIBLE side effects. Felt really had just been stressed and just needed to get back to normal life. Took five days but suddenly felt like old self with no if a A Fib and no dizziness, tired, fainting spells etc. Felt this way for few weeks but Sun started back on Vitamin which had berberine 500mg 2x day added for first time and chelated magnesium. Last night (Tuesday) I had my A Fib come back at 2:30am surprisingly strong which I never really had had and my blood pressure was a lot lower than usual and I was dizzy as was when on that drug when got faint and stools starting to be loose??? Figure sadly just have bad heart but tried to also think what done new when vitamin – in particular Berberine – came to mind. I looked Berberine up and saw in one article can lower blood pressure warning for people with low BP which I don’t have but Berberine now seems like a possible candidate for my weird recurrence of A Fib ??????? OH OH found another review of having RAPID HEART RATE as soon as started taking. Would like your opinion, please.

    • Rick May 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

      I wonder if what you experienced was actually a return of A-Fib? Berberine, while generally antiarrhythmic, has the potential to prolong the QT interval (Long QT Syndrome), which increases the risk of torsades de pointes, a serious (and sometimes fatal) heart rhythm disturbance. The same is true of some other drugs — some of which have been removed from the market for this reason, and some of which remain. Berberine can also prolong the QT interval.

      For instance, see the Introduction (NOT the abstract) to the medical journal article “Berberine Induces hERG Channel Deficiency through Trafficking Inhibition”:

      http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/363034

      I’m really interested in trying Berberine, but this is one of a couple of issues that give me pause. I’m surprised this aspect isn’t mentioned at Examine.com, since they generally do such thorough reviews.

  4. John Rowan March 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I have been taking berberine for about 9 months with only mild stomach discomfort when I first started taking it. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 15 years ago and have been struggling with diet control ever since. I have never used insulin but blood sugar levels in the 150’s to 170’s were common. I took Actos with minimal effect until I started seeing stories about bladder cancer as a side effect. I have tried cinnamon and gymnema with marginal effects.
    I started taking berberine after reading about one legitimate research study. They reccommended 1500mg/day in devided doses, but I could only get 400mg tabs so I took 1600mg/day (1-2-1)
    I had run out of test strips when I started taking it so I didn’t check my sugar for about a week. When I got some new strips, I thought my meter was broken! I had not had a reading under 100 in years.
    When I went to my doctor a month later my a1c had dropped from 7.2 to 5.5!
    Then I experimented with changing the dose and backsliding on my diet and in three months it was back to 6.8. Since then I have gone back to 1600mg/day and watched my diet and my a1c went down to 5.8.
    I have introduce berberine to people I work with who have had similar results.
    Oh, one more complication. It does seem to interfere with muscle growth. I do moderate weight lifting (taking whey protein and creatine) and since I have started taking berberine I have had trouble maintaining weight and muscle form. But I think it’s worth the trade off.

    • Pat March 30, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

      When you say trouble maintaining weight, are you experiencing weight loss or gain?

      • John Rowan March 31, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

        I have lost about 5 lbs and have been trying to bulk up a little through moderate lifting at the gym, but I can’t seem to gain back the weight, even though I take creatine and whey protein shakes.
        In the two weeks since my last response I have tried some experiments (which I DO NOT recommend). Today my morning fasting glucose was 112. I took 500mg of berberine and ate my usual two slices of whole wheat toast and coffee. Then I ate two slices of pizza for lunch and forgot to take any berberine.
        One hour later my level was 234. I immediately took 1000mg of berberine and two hours later my blood sugar was 81 (!). I checked it again after another hour and got 82. At 9PM it was back at 112.
        I don’t think this kind of swing can be a good thing. I need to remember to take it three times a day with food. (And stay away from pizza).

        • DennisE April 13, 2015 at 5:07 am #

          It can be hard to bulk on berberine. Maybe you could control your blood sugar without berberine, and do a lean bulk, with very low carbohydrates. Eat most of your carb pre workout. Maybe you can even work out 2 x a day, with all your carbs as fuel. Also watch out for glucogenesis, with will come from to much protein (which will eventually be made to glucose via glucogenesis)
          Maybe 70-80% calories from fat. 10 – 15 from protein, 5-15 from carbs. You could try first while taking berberine, and if it work, start take less berberine, and maybe completely remove it.

          Sorry if my english is bad.

    • John De Armond September 12, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Hi John,
      If I might suggest, give up the whey protein, or at least mix it with a full range protein. Not meaning to endorce a brand, but after years of working out, trying to maintain energy and keep my blood sugar level (I’m Hypoglycemic, inherited), I use “garden of life- raw meal”, I like the vanilla. There are many others also, the best ones have protein from many plants, amino acids for processsing protein in your body, as well as the natural vitamin and minerals from the plants.mixit 2:1 w/ur whey.

  5. john rowan April 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Thanks, DennisE, for the suggestions. I will certainly try some of those ideas. I know that I can use better diet adjustment to help control my blood sugar so maybe if I do the things you suggest I can cut down on the berberine.
    The real point, though, was how miraculous the berberine has been. If the trade off has to less muscle definition for an A1c under 6, I’ll take that as a bargain for now.
    Also DennisE, your English is better than that of 75% of native speakers. You’ve got nothing to apologize for. Sharing your knowledge is much appreciated.

  6. Martin April 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    You approach this remedy with extreme caution. To get the best bang for my buck I purchased “Berberine Plus” with 1000mg capsules.

    ONE CAPSULE caused uncontrolled diarhea for over 48 hours.

    If I ever convince myself to try it again, I will take a few capsules apart and try to start with a dose of 200mg or less. However, my own past experience suggests that if I truly want to get rid of my type 2 Diabetes, then it all starts with a ketogenic diet. I was looking for a shortcut and paid a very unpleasant price.

  7. Mary May 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    I have been researching this product for diabetes. I am a type 1 diabetic with out of control readings my A1C level is 9.3 I was diagnosed at age of 50 and I have had it for four years.

    I have a lot of muscle spasm going on I am looking for something to help with it. Any suggestions will help.

  8. John Rowan May 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    I don’t know if berberine will work for type 1. If I see anything about this specifically, I will post here.
    As for the cardiac issues, I read that article and I have to admit that although it sounds vaguely ominous, I have no idea what it really MEANS, or what I should be watching out for.
    meanwhile, my A1c stays right around 6. I get it tested every 4 months at my doctors office and use the home kits I get at Walmart in between. My lipid numbers have been unbelievably good.
    The only prescription med I take is Lipitor. All my labs are within range which hasn’t happened for years. I’d still like to keep the A1c below 6 consistently.
    As I introduce co-workers who are diabetic to berberine they are having the same amazing results.
    And the healthcare professionals they go to invariably respond to their remarkable improvement with skepticism bordering on outright hostility. I KNOW there are problems with unregulated suppliments.
    there’s been a lot about that in the news here in New York lately. But it seems that the medical establishment is COMPLETELY closed-minded about it.

  9. Mary June 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Hello…have you come across any incidence of Berberine causing an INCREASE in blood sugars in type two diabetics?…..my ‘ normal’ fasting sugars are around 6.8 to 7.0 mmol/L…but taking berberine ( 500mg) pushes fasting sugars up to 8.9 /sometimes 10!…..i also experinced this phenomenon with a trial use of Januvia…i understand Januvia is a dpp1-4 inhibitor…and some sources imply berberine has this mode of action too ( along with other mechanisms)…..I was so hoping Berberine would fullfil all its wonderful benefits, but sadly it seems to have the opposite action.in my case..any thought?
    My other meds are metformin 500mg twice a day

    • John Rowan August 31, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

      First, you seem to be confusing A1c with fasting blood sugars. The A1c test is a 3 month average and is not a measure of fasting blood sugar. I’ve never heard of berberine increasing the A1c score but i can’t say it’s impossible. I would guess that other things such as diet and exercise were different.

      • Rick September 2, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

        Mary was not giving HBA1C numbers. Note that she stated her glucose readings in mmol/L, which is used in Canada and most other countries. Multiply by 18 to convert to the mg/dl measurement used in the US.

        • John Rowan September 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

          Nice catch, Rick, I missed that. So doing the conversions she is talking about the range increasing from about 122-126 up to 160-180 mg/dl.
          So now I understand her question and really have no answer.
          Still, I would suggest two things:
          1) Make sure your diet and exercise don’t change during the trials.
          2) Take berberine for 3 months and get the A1c test. Your doctor can do the A1c in about 5 minutes now (they used to have to send it out). In the USA you can get a home kit now, about $30 for two tests.

  10. GoodStew June 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    According the the following herbalist, berberine can destroy gut flora as well as damage the intestinal lining. I’ve been using berberine to control blood sugar and neuropathy for awhile now, but now I’m concerned. Your thoughts?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO5c2L8CsDQ

  11. rach July 12, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    I have yet to find an herbal antibacterial that does not kill beneficial flora. Any one know one? I tried berberine as it seemed a lesser evil and I’m working on clostridia.

    • Chris December 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      Add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in a cup of water, drink just prior to each meal. This will replace the beneficial gut flora.

  12. Nkk July 14, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Have been using Oregon grape root for the berberine to manage my blood sugar. 500 mg 3 times a day along with recommend minerals ect. I have had type 2 diabetes for 29 years. The berberine works well for me and I no longer go to bed fearing that I will die in the night from an insulin reaction. I was unable to use the pills as with exercise my blood sugar drops rapidly so have used insulin for years. I have had no noticeable side affects from the berberine. MY WEIGHT is now maintaining at 152 which is close to ideal for my height and frame. With proper dosing there should be minimal issues and if you are currently taking one of the poisons doctors recommend for diabetes I would try berberine. If your physician is resistant to this you might want to talk to some naturapaths.

    • Char Hillosky October 16, 2015 at 11:58 am #

      i am taking insulin but would like to try berberine
      What do I need to do to begin. I would really like to get off
      Lantus & Victoza ( injections) I have been taking for
      Many years

  13. bob July 15, 2015 at 2:52 am #

    I have chf what diuretic goes good with berberine.. I need one that does not interact with enzymes inhibitors of berberine. Lasix is effected so I switched to bumetanide. Which gave me secondary gout.So I quit bumetanide and berberine does not control water retention .

  14. Ann July 25, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    I have high cholesterol (320) and triglycerides.over 200. I am not over weight, sugar is around 98. I cannot take statins causes muscle weakness. Nothing else has helped. I eat a very healthy diet, exercise. Doctor thinks it is my liver over producing fat. I just started taking 1500 ( 3 pills a day) of Berberine and I have an opposite problem of constipation. Any suggestions? Any responses about using this for cholesterol?

  15. CAWS August 2, 2015 at 4:48 am #

    I took 500mg 3x a day for two months & my cholesterol dropped 43 points! Recently took some for sinus infection [specific for staph according to natural doc] but did pills were 1000 mg 3X a day. Bad stomach cramping & gastritis resurge. Will go back to lower dose & my Peakbiotics which can survive even antibiotics & repopulate my gut.

  16. Michele August 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    I have been taking it for 3months 1200mg a day broken in 3doses breakfast lunch dinner I have lost 30lbs my shoulders face and neck are not bloated anymore my a1c went from a 6 to 4.8 no stomach problems I FEEL GREAT

  17. Dr. Bob August 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Unfortunately Berberine causes DNA damage. It was noted in a scientific study, it is unfortunate because the berberine that caused the DNA damage was in Golden Seal, however, it was directly linked to the berberine. DNA damage is very dangerous and leads to serious disease.

  18. John Rowan August 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Stating categorically that “Berberine causes DNA damage” is a bit irresponsible. No scientific study would ever say that, including the one you read. That study was specifically looking at the effect of berberine on cancer cells, and while it suggested some concern it did not generalize to other cells.
    It clearly stated that more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
    If you are really a doctor I’m surprised you would make such a dramatic statement without any citation.
    Also, can you expand on “DNA damage is very dangerous and leads to serious disease”?

  19. Amir September 3, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Hi,

    I am a type II diabetic and I have had it for around 4 years now. I am 33. Taking Metformin 2000mg per day along with couple of other medicines (Sitagliptin and Voglibose).

    Recently I have heard about berberine. Looked and searched the forums and found 90% positive feedback. While looking for it, I found that it is being sold at high price however, in India, I have found one place where it is being sold at a low to moderate price. This is a separate story.

    After reading all the comments and user reviews here, I am bit confused whether I should give it a try or not (after looking at the side effects, especially a comment in which DNA damage was shared). Could you please guide me further?

    Doctors here in India prescribe Metformin or Insulin. Looking at the chronic side effects of Metformin I decided to opt for berberine but comments above put me on halt. I am recently suffering from Vitamin B12 and D3 deficiency due to Metformin and taking injections to overcome that.

  20. John Rowan September 9, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    in addition to my response to the DNA damage report, let me add this…
    This experiment was done on cell material purchased from a supply house. There have been no human trials that I am aware of that report DNA damage. Clearly, further study needs to be done and I’m NOT saying there is no risk.
    As for cost, I get mine via the internet from Swanson for $9.99 per bottle of 60 400mg caps. I take 4 caps a day so this amounts to about twenty bucks a month. Decide for yourself if it’s worth it…

  21. BARB 58 September 11, 2015 at 6:28 am #

    If your taking Berberine, can you take it long term? I was on Medformin for insulin resistance but that cause mouth sores and sore leg muscles. I do have food sensitivities and yeast issues so I hope this helps that too.

  22. John Rowan September 11, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Well, Barb, that is probably the key question. I don’t know of any long term analysis.
    Here’s a summary of what I believe to be true from personal experience and internet research:

    Berberine is at least as effective as metformin for lowering blood sugar.
    It MIGHT be beneficial for a multitude of other medical conditions.
    Some people experience side effects, mostly gastrointestinal.
    It can be difficult to build and maintain muscle mass while taking berberine.
    While you might lose weight taking it if you are diabetic, taking it solely for weight loss probably won’t work.
    There is some evidence of POSSIBLE cardiac complications in the long run.
    There is some evidence that the possibility of DNA damage needs to be explored further.

    I expect we won’t see much in the way of strong research until some major drug company synthesizes a much more expensive version and promotes it as “better”.
    Until then, all we have is us…

    • Colleen October 18, 2015 at 10:33 am #

      I recently had a lumpectomy on the left side to remove a very small cancer tumor; and will begin 6 weeks of radiation followed by a 5 -year daily regiment of an anti estrogen medication. Radiation Oncologist stated minimal damage to my heart may or may not occur. The 5 yr medication will protect my entire body from cancer reocurrence. My ob-gyn stated that this cancer treatment will cause osteoporosis and I may need to see a rheumatologist. Otherwise, I am a healthy 63 yr old, doing high impact exercises 3 to 4 times per week at a gym with excellent blood pressure; however my cholesterol levels are high at 235. My HDL is 90, my triglycerides at 75. My Dr. Believes my high cholesterol level is hereitary. I would like to try Berberine for cholesterol control and bone density. With my current situation, do you think it is a good supplement to add to my daily routine?

      • Peggy Heppelmann December 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

        Your Cholesterol numbers are perfect. You need to have your doctor do a more definitive cholesterol check such as an NMR cholesterol test which actually measures LDL as compared to the standard test which just estimates it from levels of other measure cholesterol particles. Beyond the accuracy of the LDL estimate, the important thing with cholesterol is the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL. According to the Mayo clinic an optimal ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is less then 3.5 to 1. Your ratio of 235/90 is 2.6 to 1 which is less than 3.5 to 1, so your cholesterol profile is optimal! I have very similar cholesterol numbers to yours and my NRM test says I have less than half the risk of heart disease as the average person my age based on my cholesterol profiles. You can’t expect to have a risk profile better than that. Treatment guidelines have changed this year to say that LDL cholesterol levels below 190mg/dl do not need to be treated unless there are other risk factors involved, which there do not seem to be from what you have said. Again you can check the Mayo Clinic site to confirm this number. You need to get a more current doctor. Statins are too risky to be taken by someone like you with such a low risk profile.

        • Rick December 7, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

          “Treatment guidelines have changed this year to say that LDL cholesterol levels below 190mg/dl do not need to be treated unless there are other risk factors involved.”

          The actual new (and confusing guidelines) are much broader than that, and if followed to the letter would end up putting many *more* people on statins, not fewer. Under the new guidelines — most of which are without regard to LDL or other cholesterol levels — statins are recommended for *any* of the following:

          1. People without cardiovascular disease who are 40 to 75 years old and have a 7.5 percent or higher risk for heart attack or stroke within 10 years.

          2. People with a history of heart attack, stroke, stable or unstable angina, peripheral artery disease, transient ischemic attack, or coronary or other arterial revascularization.

          3. People 21 and older who have a very high level of bad cholesterol (190 mg/dL or higher).

          4. People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who are 40 to 75 years old.

          Note that, following these guidelines, most people who receive statins will actually receive them without regard to LDL (or any other component of cholesterol) levels. My guess is that family physicians still go largely by the cholesterol numbers — especially for primary prevention — and would prescribe at levels well under 190, which is, per lab reports, the level above which ldl is considered “very high” (optimal is < 100; near/above optimal is 100-129; borderline high is 130-159; and high is 160-189).

          On the anecdotal side, I have an aunt who has had high cholesterol for many years, and she cannot tolerate statins — tried them all. But she is now 95 and doing great despite heart issues (which are now well under control as long as she doesn't over-exert). While I doubt I'm stating this correctly, her doctor told her that due to genetics high cholesterol may not be a significant risk factor for her.

        • Rick December 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

          Oh, I see now that you had said “…unless there are other risk factors involved.” But it looks like the way the treatment guidelines now quantify other risk factors, the number of people prescribed statins would actually go way UP. Based on Colleen’s great HDL, excellent triglycerides. excellent Tot/HDL ratio, and only mildly-elevated calculated LDL of 130 — combined with good BP and lifestyle, she likely wouldn’t be one of them. Of course her question was about whether Berberine might be useful. I don’t know the answer, but if it were me I’d be cautious about taking it during the cancer treatment, especially without talking to her doctors.

  23. Amir September 20, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    Hi,

    I started taking berberine along with my regular medicines 15 days ago. At first I started taking 500mg x 3. Now I am taking it two times only. Morning and Night before meals. My fasting used to be 170 and PP was 260 earlier. After taking berberine my fasting is 100 and my PP is 105. So I can say that it is a very powerful medicine and yes it is safe as compared to metformin.

    The reason for me to say it is safe is that I am from India where Ayurved originated. And berberine is in use in Ayurvedic medicine since thousand of years. I have researched and even consulted Ayurvedic doctors here in India and found this medicine to be safe. So I am good to go. (PS : The sugar level mentioned above are not one day levels but I have tested my sugar around 40 times in last 15 days and the results were more or less same.

    Now I would try to reduce my metformin dosage and would update with my results soon.

  24. Scuppi October 10, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    Possible correction from the article: berberine does not “suppress” AMPK, in fact, most all the literature I have read suggests that it activates AMPK, as does resveratrol, Jiaguolan, etc. That AMPK activation is why people see weight loss, etc. Also, metformin increases AMPK activation, so suppression of AMPK would cause lethargy, weight gain, and increase in blood sugar, and metformin, berberine, et.al. does not do that, it does the opposite.

  25. Linda November 19, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    I am taking Berberine to lower my LDL. I think i am experiencing a side effect of trouble urinating. Have you heard of this before?

  26. Javier Cavazos November 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    I’ve been a type-II diabetic for about 20 years. I’ve been on blood lowering medication since, and have tried various diets to go along with my treatment. As time passed all my affords to lower my blood sugar levels have gotten more challenging. I was at a point where no matter how few carbs I ate or how much I exercise, my blood sugar levels were in the 250 – 300 range. My doctor wanted to put me on insulin, but I refused to go that route. I read about berberine and became a mostly a vegan eater. I eat all the complex carbs I want; pasta, beans, corn tortillas, brown rice, veggies, all kinds at friuts and I take one berberine 500mg with each meal. Amazingly if I get a morning reading of 110 that’s a high sugar reading. I don’t know what side effects berberine has, but I do know what side effects a constant 250-300 sugar ranger will have on my body. I love this pill because for the first time since I began to prick my finger tips I’m getting sugar levels at or very close to normal range. I recommend every diabetic out there to adopt a mostly vegan way of eating and take berberine and be amazed at the results in as little as two weeks!!!

  27. Barbara December 26, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    I have been taking Berberine 3 x daily for 3 weeks and it has lowered my blood sugar from steady 250-420 to around 150 or just under 200. I have had to stop taking it due to gastrointestinal havoc, and I mean havoc. I am having terrible stomach pains. I feel full all of the time to the point of being uncomfortable. I am now taking probiotics but they are not giving much relief. I want to continue to take the Berberine because it is the only thing that has reduced my blood sugar, but my stomach is a mess. Any suggestions as to how to make this happen?

    • Amir December 28, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Hi, I have been taking it 3 times a day before meals and had same issue. I just reduced the dosage. Now taking 2 tablets morning and evening before meals and it is working just fine. Also lost 7kg weight in 2 months. feeling great.

  28. Kelly December 30, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    My situation is this. Im 52, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy a few years ago..doing well no changes in heart size or function. Actually do not feel like anything is even wrong. I have zero restrictions in my life. Medicine is doing it job. In May of this year randomly tested my blood sugar and it was 135. Went to doc, got A1c it was 6.4 so evidently Id had it a while and didn’t know. Went on Metformin 500 mg 2 x day pill had stomach issues. Now on Topical Metformin. Ive lost 27 pounds since June. Even though I had another A1c on 12/10 it dropped to 5.6 My morning numbers are always 150-170. I even get up and eat healthy snack in night about 1 am. Doc increased topical to more. Pharmacist recommended the Berberine knowing my medical history. In one day already seeing decrease in numbers. Now reading this about possible cardiac interference Im worried. Any ideas or feedback?

    • Amir December 31, 2015 at 8:23 am #

      This is a general advice since my family members have a history of diabetes. Please have your medicines and dinner before 8pm (If possible 7pm) and after that have a walk for around 20 mins. Do not have anything after that not even mid night snacks. Check your Fasting. (PS : Do this atleast 1 week to get results)