This natural compound is gaining popularity as “nature’s Ozempic” — but does it deserve the title?
Berberine is a compound derived from various plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric. The natural compound is touted for its health benefits ranging from supporting blood sugar to promoting cardiovascular health.
It’s also gaining attention for its potential to help people lose weight without expensive co-pays, a prescription, or a shot. Here’s how it works and how you can decide if it’s a good option for you on your health journey.
Why are Weight Loss Medications and Supplements So Popular?
According to the CDC, as of 2023, over 41% of adults in the United States are suffering from obesity. And the “calories in, calories out” strategy isn’t helping because there are deeper issues at play.
Metabolic syndromes like insulin resistance and hormonal issues like PCOS make shedding excess pounds extremely difficult, as the field of obesity medicine is making more widely understood. When doctors are able to treat the underlying insulin resistance and blood sugar problems beneath weight issues, weight loss becomes possible.
That’s why weight loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy have been life-changing for many—not only do they help suppress appetite, but they also increase insulin sensitivity while decreasing blood sugar levels—a major issue with metabolic dysfunction.
But for many Americans, access to medication is expensive and increasingly difficult to access, leading people to seek out more accessible solutions. TikTok has recently coined berberine as “nature’s Ozempic” for its ability to help regulate blood sugar without the price tag. But does it work?
The Scientific Support for Berberine
Berberine has been used in traditional medicine for centuries in practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to treat inflammation, infections, wound healing, diarrhea, blood pressure, and more.
But modern research has uncovered that there is something behind the buzz of using Berberine for weight loss.
For example, as many as 1 in 3 Americans are suffering from insulin resistance, though most are unaware, aside from symptoms like weight gain and fatigue. Others don’t realize they’re dealing with insulin resistance until a diagnosis like pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, which is why catching it early is key.
The good news is that numerous studies cite berberine’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity by improving gut health and activating genes that support fat cells’ metabolic function. Healthy insulin sensitivity is a game-changer for those who are used to feeling blood sugar highs and lows throughout the day.
A body with healthy insulin sensitivity has:
- Sustained energy instead of crashes throughout the day
- Healthy weight management by regulating fat storage
- Reduced hunger and cravings thanks to stable blood sugar
Normal blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, regular menstrual cycles, and healthy skin are also associated with insulin sensitivity. The pieces of the metabolic puzzle really come together when insulin is operating correctly, and berberine is an effective way to support this.
In one study, the administration of 500mg of berberine three times daily before meals led to a 36% remission of metabolic syndrome, a significant reduction in waist circumference for women, and lowered triglycerides, in addition to improving insulin sensitivity.
For those primarily concerned with weight loss, other studies showed a 5-point decrease in BMI for those with metabolic syndrome when administered berberine and a reduction in weight by increasing brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is correlated with improved energy expenditure, glucose metabolism, and a healthy weight.
While some argue that berberine’s impact on weight is mild compared to clinical trials of prescription drugs, its effect on conditions like type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension is parallel to drug options without notable side effects.
Overall—for anyone looking to improve metabolic function, whether that’s by improving insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, weight management, cholesterol, blood pressure, or gut health, berberine is one of the most empirically-backed natural solutions on the market.
Who Should Take Berberine?
In this video, Dr. Sowa talks about the research supporting berberine, including clearing up myths about how it works and who can take it. It’s not the same as taking Ozempic—but it can help treat the root cause of metabolic dysfunction and lead to some weight loss. Best results are seen after three months of use, and it’s safe to take alongside most weight loss medications, but of course, check with your doctor if you’re concerned.
Look for it in…
We wanted to create an effective and cost-effective natural supplement to support your weight loss and metabolic health goals—so we combined Berberine with two other clinically-backed metabolism helpers for a supplement like no other. GetSoBalanced can be taken before every meal to help with keeping blood sugar steady and keep you feeling your best.