Have you seen the supplement Berbeine being touted as nature’s Ozempic? Can Berberine work for weight loss? Let’s look at the reviews and the research.
You may have heard about the weight loss drug Ozempic, also known as Rybelsus, Wegovy (semaglutide) Though it is a diabetes drug, its now commonly being used and has been approved to help people lose weight.
I am keeping my butt well on the fence around this drug at the moment. Though many of us have seen amazing transformations on social media, it certainly don’t come without its risks. Along with the 100’s of successful transformations are just as many horror stories, and we don’t really know yet what the long term effects could be.
I am weary of any new drugs and I don’t know enough about it, or have seen enough research on it to truly trust it. Time will tell if it is to be the miracle drug it’s been touted as.
I’m sure it has the power to help many people, but the trouble is that any drug or supplement fails to address the underlying root causes of weight gain. And unless you are addressing health habits alongside an intervention of a drug, relapses and rebound have a high probability.
If you have been watching what’s going on with Ozempic, you may have also got curious about the weight loss benefits of berberine.
Or maybe this is your first time hearing about it. In recent years a slew of influencers, doctors and health practitioners have been bigging up Berberine as nature’s Ozempic and it’s started to gain attention as a potential natural dietary supplement for shedding those stubborn pounds.
But does it really work?
You can watch the review in video format, or if you prefer to read then keep on going.
Of course, I took it upon myself to jump on the bandwagon, to test it for myself and see if it really is worth all of the hype.
In this article, I’ll be sharing my own personal findings as well as sharing what the clinical research and the findings of others so you can feel more informed about making this choice for yourself.
Truth is, there are a lot of mixed results out there. Some people claim that berberine has helped them shed pounds, while others haven’t noticed any significant changes. As with any supplement, results vary depending on individual factors such as diet, exercise, overall health and of course your own genetic and biological differences.
Before trying berberine for weight loss, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your specific needs, especially if you are already taking any type of medication. This article is for informational purposes only and should never replace proper medical advice.
Understanding The Science Behind Berberine and Its Effects On Weight Loss
Berberine, a compound found in certain plants like goldenseal and barberry, is yellow in colour and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Recently it’s been gaining in popularity, it has been studied for its potential impact on weight loss.
Preliminary research suggests that berberine may help:
- regulate blood sugar levels
- boost metabolism ** Note this was an animal study
- reduce inflammation
- reduce cholesterol
- fat loss
- promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria
All of these are showing good markers in supporting healthy weight management, this can all sound pretty positive and exciting for dieters everywhere. However, I will also state, that much of the research on humans has been done on overweight and obese candidates.
It’s important to note that the exact mechanisms by which berberine influences weight loss are not yet fully understood, and for most people who are just looking to lose a few pounds may not be essential. While there is promising evidence, further clinical research and human trials are needed.
Reviews of Berberine for weight loss – what do users say?
When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of any supplement, I always like to dive in and see what people are saying about it. My TikTok and YouTube feeds are filled with people who have been taking it and are testifying to its effectiveness. But as we all know, you can’t always believe everything that you see on the internet.
Users’ experiences with berberine for weight loss are mixed. Some individuals claim that berberine has helped them shed pounds and achieve their weight loss goals as per the video above. They report improved energy levels, reduced cravings, and just not having the same interest in food. These outcomes may be attributed to berberine’s potential to regulate blood sugar levels and boost metabolism.
This was really what caught my eye about this supplement. As a midlife woman at the age of 40 who is already experiencing (what I thought were) perimenopausal symptoms, I have often felt like my blood sugar levels, for want for a better word, can get somewhat out of whack.
I have always had a real sweet tooth, but it seems that my body just doesn’t cope with the effects of sugar the same as it once did. Hunger and sugar cravings are real and I often find that I am just constantly thinking about food.
My hope was that this supplement may help with the blood sugar balance and help to just support my body in making it easier to manage food intake or not getting such huge energy dips.
So whilst some people have been reporting incredible benefits, other users have not noticed any significant changes in their weight or body composition. It’s worth noting here that individual factors, such as diet, exercise, and overall health, can influence the results obtained from berberine supplementation.
And this was certainly not the case for me, read on for why I had to stop taking it after less than a week.
How Berberine Works To Promote Weight Loss
Berberine weight loss benefits come through various mechanisms. One of the primary ways it may aid in weight management is by regulating blood sugar levels.
Research suggests that berberine activates an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which plays a crucial role in glucose metabolism. By activating AMPK, berberine enhances insulin sensitivity, promotes glucose uptake by cells, and reduces glucose production by the liver and supporting the glp-1 agonists (this is actually what the function of Ozempic or Metformin does and how it reduces appetite). These actions can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent excessive storage of glucose as fat.
Additionally, berberine may boost metabolism by increasing the activity of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses responsible for energy production. This increased metabolic rate can lead to greater calorie expenditure and potentially support weight loss.
Furthermore, berberine has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is often associated with obesity and can hinder weight loss efforts. By reducing inflammation, berberine may create a more favourable environment for weight management.
Potential side effects and precautions of using Berberine for weight loss
While berberine appears to be generally safe for short-term use, it’s important to be aware of potential risks, side effects and precautions before diving in and starting to take it.
Some individuals may experience issues with the gut such as constipation, diarrhoea, or stomach cramps when taking berberine. These side effects are usually mild, but it’s advisable to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it to minimize any digestive discomfort.
Berberine may also interact with certain medications, including those used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, or cholesterol. It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before starting berberine supplementation, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or take prescription medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid berberine supplements, as there is limited research on its safety during these periods.
Why I Had To Stop!
In my own experience, Berberine did not work as I would have hoped. Instead of balancing hunger levels, I experienced increased and pretty intense hunger. To the point where my stomach was just rumbling all day long, despite not making dramatic changes to my diet.
It was like I couldn’t eat enough to satisfy it.
This is really the reminder that whilst calories play a part in weight loss, but also, so do hormonal fluctuations and the balance of blood glucose levels. It’s really hard to be in a calorie deficit if you are hungry all of the time, and this is even with me eating mainly whole foods and prioritising protein at the top of that.
Berberine has been shown to help regulate blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome.
But in my own non-scientific conclusions on what I experienced (I don’t have any data to back up my theory), the berberine was reducing blood glucose levels too low, and so potentially making me feel more hungry.
I did start with a higher dose 1000mg twice per day with meals. It’s likely I started with too high a dose and would be better starting with with 500mg.
I also have to say that during this week of taking the Berberine, I had been feeling a little fatigued and what I would put down to hormonal fluctuations. My headaches had returned and I generally wasn’t feeling my best. This could be just a normal fluctuation in energy levels, I wasn’t putting this down to the Berberine at the time. Until I started seeing other people beginning to report the same experience. These feelings can be associated with what is called a die-off reaction.
I have stopped it for the moment while I continue my research, and I will be sure to keep this page updated with my findings. I have also had a recent health diagnosis of having PCOS. So I am currently making some nutritional changes to my diet before I would try the supplement again.
Keep this in mind when making decisions about your own health. It’s very rarely one size fits all. Just because something effects a person in one way, doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.
Recommended Dosage and Timing For Optimal Results
The appropriate dosage of berberine for weight loss can vary depending on individual factors and health conditions. However, a common dosage range is typically between 500-1500 mg per day, divided into two or three doses. If I was to try this again, I would start with a much lower dose.
To maximize the potential benefits of berberine, it’s advisable to take it with a meal to enhance absorption. I must stress that ANY intervention should be used alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise. As I mentioned earlier, it’s always best to support any intervention with improving health habits. You can’t expect to take something and continue eating junk. Look at it as a tool to support your healthy eating habits and not in place of them.
As with any supplement, it’s important to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it while monitoring your body’s response. This allows you to gauge its effectiveness and assess any potential side effects.
Combining Berberine With Other Supplements Or Lifestyle Changes For Enhanced Weight Loss
While berberine shows promise as a weight loss aid for some people, it’s important to remember that no supplement can replace a healthy lifestyle. To optimize your weight loss journey, consider combining berberine supplementation with other evidence-based strategies such as those shared in my FREE 5 day Kickstart Challenge.
Regular physical activity, such as aerobic exercise and strength training, can help boost your metabolism, burn calories, and promote overall health and wellbeing. Additionally, adopting a balanced diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, can provide essential nutrients and support weight management.
Where to buy Berberine supplements and what to look for in a quality product
Berberine supplements can be found in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. When looking for the best berberine supplements, it’s important to choose a reputable brand that adheres to high-quality standards.
Look for products that are third-party testing for purity, potency, safety and have good manufacturing practices. These tests ensure that the berberine supplement contains the stated amount of active ingredients and is free from contaminants and has a brand name you can trust.
I purchased a 3rd party lab tested product from iherb
Conclusion – Is Berberine an effective tool for weight loss?
In conclusion, berberine shows potential health benefits as a natural remedy for weight loss in some people.
Preliminary research suggests that it may help regulate blood sugar levels, boost metabolism, reduce inflammation, and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. However, individual experiences with berberine vary, and it may not work for everyone, as I experienced.
Before incorporating berberine into your weight loss regimen, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure its safety and appropriateness for your specific needs. They can provide personalized guidance based on your health history, current medications, and overall goals.
Remember, there is no magic pill for weight loss. A holistic approach that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and other evidence-based strategies is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Berberine may be a valuable tool in this journey, but it should be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle for optimal results and not in place of it.
I hope this helps you make a more informed decision to see if Berberine is the right tool for you. I’d also love to hear your feedback and input if you have used it and what results you have experienced down in the comments