Diabetes has become increasingly common in all age groups. But, again, classifying it as ‘normal’ would be dangerous. Diabetes, as such, is elevated blood glucose levels, but the definition also highlights diabetes as a precursor to other major illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Diabetes can also compromise the function of kidneys, nerves, and eyes. So, it becomes a top priority to address the symptoms of diabetes to avoid its progression into something much more complicated to handle that would also impact the quality of life. Traditional medicine, like Ayurveda, involves use of herbs and spices for controlling blood sugar levels and managing diabetes. Berberine is one of them.
Maitri Trivedi, Nutritionist, Pure Nutrition Naturals says, “Certain herbs and spices can be traced back to Ayurveda when it comes to reversing Diabetes and associated symptoms. Berberine extracted from Tree turmeric or Indian Barberry is one such multi-functional herb.”
Talking to TheHealthSite, the nutritionist also sheds light on the benefits of Berberine for people with diabetes. Read on
Benefits of berberine for people with diabetes
Berberine is an alkaloid, a plant metabolite that has antioxidant benefits. Studies on Berberine have been extensive and have shown promising results in managing blood glucose levels. It aids in better and slower absorption of sugar in the gut, manages glycogenolysis in the liver, and supports healthy metabolism and energy production.
When a lack of insulin production or insulin resistance develops, glucose remains in the blood instead of getting into the cells for energy production, leaving blood glucose levels high. Insulin is the key to the doors of our cells through which glucose can enter the cells. Diabetes occurs surprisingly not because of high consumption of sugar alone but due to increased inflammation. A sedentary lifestyle increased free radicals, and consumption of pro-inflammatory foods can affect the progression of diabetes, and this is where Berberine comes to the rescue!
Along with sleep cycle management, dietary modifications including fiber-rich foods, complex carbohydrates, and good-quality protein, as well as exercise, an active lifestyle, and stress management can help in reversing diabetes for good!
So, how does Berberine work against diabetes?
Berberine has been used primarily for diabetes and dyslipidemia. Berberine helps reduce alanine and aspartate transaminase levels, which are enzymes involved in glucose metabolism. Metformin is a widespread medication for people with Diabetes, and Berberine has proven to work likewise. AMPK is involved in metabolism and energy production. Berberine regulates AMPK and MAPK, protein kinases that help control and increase glucose uptake from the blood into the skeletal muscles, thus regulating blood sugar levels. Hyperinsulinemia, or increased insulin secretion in the body, along with insulin resistance, can also be seen in obese patients, those dealing with PCOS, and dyslipidemia. Berberine has also proven to help significantly in managing lipid profile levels. Additionally, Berberine has been used as a supportive treatment for issues related to cardiovascular diseases, depression, and fatty liver.
Finally, how much Berberine should you consume every day?
500 mg of Berberine supplement can be a good start. If you have Diabetes and are on medications, you must consume Berberine only after consulting with your healthcare professional.
Diabetes even though a common lifestyle disorder can very much be reversed. Medications being a lifelong approach for managing Diabetes may bring in more disorders and bring down the quality of life. Hence, a holistic approach to treating Diabetes is the best way to ensure we stay healthy and fit and avoid nutrient deficiencies.