Berberine: effective natural supplement for diabetes

Berberine: Effective Natural Supplement For Diabetes

Berberine is an active component of the Berberis vulgaris plant, which is known for improving various ailments. 1

Multiple human studies have found that berberine can lower blood sugar.

A 2012 meta-analysis reviewed 14 studies, lasting 8 to 24 weeks, on the effects of berberine in more than 1000 type 2 diabetics. It found that the addition of berberine to a healthy lifestyle significantly reduces fasting blood sugar, HbA1c and insulin resistance, and increases carbohydrate tolerance, compared to a healthier lifestyle without berberine. Berberine also reduces triglycerides, total cholesterol and the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, while increasing the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.2

In fact, berberine alone had a similar blood sugar-lowering effect as prescription drugs (metformin, glipizide, and others) in type 2 diabetes when used alone, and could further reduce blood sugar, HbA1c and insulin resistance when combined with prescription drugs.2

Regarding safety, there were no more side effects with berberine than without it, and none of them were serious.2 In normal doses, berberine is not considered toxic.1 However, always consult a medical doctor before taking any supplements. All disclaimers apply.

Dose: Most of the human studies used doses of 0.5 to 1.5 grams per day.2



  1. Imanshahidi M, Hosseinzadeh H. Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Berberis vulgaris and its active constituent, berberine. Phytother Res. Aug 2008;22(8):999-1012.
  2. Dong H, Wang N, Zhao L, Lu F. Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2012:591654.