Berberine -- if you are doing Keto, Carnivore, or Fasting to fix health problems you should be INVESTIGATING at Berberine


(Herb Martin) #1

Excellent intro to Berberine by Dr. Jonathan Wright:

Search results for some Berberine research papers at NCBI:

Berberine-induced autophagic cell death by elevating GRP78 levels in cancer cells:

Let me know if you have articles or papers that are worth reading on Berberine or any safe substances with similar effects.

(Ethan) #2

I experienced terrible side effects taking berberine. It made part of my back numb

(Alison) #3

I have had digestive issues after taking it for a week. These seem to be a documented side effect, still recovering.

(Herb Martin) #4

That’s unfortunate – as a general rule the side-effects of Berberine as much few and the gut issues, if present, are much milder than metformin.

What do you take in place of Berberine or were you just testing it?

My wife couldn’t take metformin due to terrible gut issues (several forms) and then Januvia was (almost) life-threatening for her due to low blood sugar excursions even though it didn’t hold her high readings down either.

So Januvia was basically worthless and then dangerous to her – eventually at least twice a week she was incapacitated, sometimes while driving or otherwise outside the home…

She started with a very simple paleo diet and dropped Januvia at her (2nd) doctor’s direction and was off it within a couple of days – with complete blood sugar control.

Never again did she have a low excursion and the number of high readings (above 140-ish) can be counted on one hand since last summer.

She recently adopted keto about a month ago and did her first extended fast last week.

We started Berberine during this time also, but only moved to 3 x 500 mg over the last couple of days – but it seems to be going fine and there is some indication that it’s holding down our blood glucose (but maybe we don’t need it so it’s too early to tell.)

All sorts of good additional benefits to Berberine and much fewer side-effects or reduced levels make it a great alternative for all but the apparently rare people who can’t tolerated it.

I’ve read that reducing the dose to 250mg or giving a few weeks (if it can be tolerated at all) commonly resolves most of the uncommon gut issues but I don’t know anything about “back numbness” as a reported side-effect.

Please report anything else you know or learn about Berberine…

(Diane) #5

When are you dosing with the berberine? With food? 1/2 hr before a meal?? Or something else?

(Ethan) #6

When I was first diagnosed with T2DM, I tried everything possible to make my situation better. I started with a modified Newcastle protocol: 800 Calories a day for 10 weeks, but also at fewer than 20g carbs per day. I immediately reversed the condition and dropped 40 pounds. I didn’t know what keto was though–this was 2013. I stayed low carb after that for 6 more months, but didn’t count carbs much. I was also low fat, which was a bad condition. I tried many OTC supplements; berberine was just one. I got an odd numbness in my back that was also an insatiable itch. It itched so much, but was numb when I scratched it! I stopped berberine, and it went away. I restarted berberine, and it came back! So I stopped forever. I replaced it with nothing.


On here is Richard’s findings about Januvia:

Defeated, he went back onto diabetes drugs (Metformin, Statins, BP meds), and saved the toe, but he slowly got sicker and sicker. Then they wanted to put him on a new drug called Januvia. After doing some research he found out that in a UCLA study of cadavers that had taken Januvia there was found a remarkable incident of pancreatic duct tumors.

Of course he just went full on keto after that and no drugs, no diabetic issues now.

(Herb Martin) #8

We just started the 3 a day, and haven’t really worked that out to be candid.

Should be with meals (not sure of exact timing, still researching).

My wife is just off an extended fast (3 3/4 days) but also her stomach wasn’t feeling well so she hasn’t been eating 3 full meals, and since I am fasting still, I just take it whenever so far.

She’s not having much trouble with glucose, but does run over a 100 some mornings which isn’t ideal.

Similarly for me though I was never diagnosed as T2D but I was probably on the way and either qualified for metabolic syndrome or was close.

(bulkbiker) #9

"# if you are doing Keto, Carnivore, or Fasting to fix health problems "

I’m guessing that combination of those three should remove the need for any medication at all?

(Diane) #10

i can’t tell if you’re serious or being a bit sarcastic? For some of us who are sicker coming in, that is definitely not true. At least not yet… hopefully.

But even if I never get off all my medications (or any more of my medications) and supplements, the benefits I’ve experienced with Keto are positively amazing.

(bulkbiker) #11

I’m being serious… I started out with a HbA1c of 87 mmol/l did intermittent fasting and keto and with a few months had normalised blood sugars. Metformin kept me tied to the house for 3 weeks with explosive diarrhea so quickly went in the bin.
I am only talking about T2 medications for clarity - obviously other conditions may require further treatments. Mea culpa sorry for not being clearer.

(Herb Martin) #12

No, it doesn’t necessarily do that, and generally won’t remove the need immediately.

The point was that if you are doing all this work you should investigate and understand the option of Berberine (and other supplements), not necessarily use them.

There are other advantages to Berberine beyond its glucose-lowering properties.

I would much prefer a 70-80 glucose to a 90-100 glucose. Fasting I may not always get that 70-80 but Berberine seems to be keeping me closer to it.

If GKI ranges for autophagy are correctly specified and calculated (see Siegfried) then any lowering of glucose will mean a deeper (high chance) of autophagy without having to wait for ketones to rise as high.

It’s difficult to obtain a ketone reading of 4.0 with only a keto diet – probably requires a longer extended fast. This means we would need to keep glucose well under 100 to get those deep GKI numbers.

It’s another tool. Not everyone can use it (see issues above) but most can and it appears to be quite safe, much safer than metformin, which most docs consider among the safest of diabetic medicines.

Also, for those few people with gut issues, my continued investigation indicates many people can simply reduce the does, to 500 mg once per day or to HALF that, and then after a “breaking in period” of 2-3 weeks increase it gradually.

Metformin has terrible gut issues for many more people and they don’t seem amenable to this idea of tapering up.

(bulkbiker) #13

Hence my saying a “combination” rather than simply one regime…

(Lynne McGrath) #14

I experienced the same gastrointestinal issue with Berberine that I had with Metformin. It’s a no-go for me

(Herb Martin) #15

I’ve read from multiple sources that reducing dose of Berberine and giving it a couple of weeks of ‘break-in’ can overcome the gut problems.

You of course must decide if it is worth the effort and discomfort to you.

Typical Berberine is 500 mg x 3/day.

Cut it down to 1 a day or 250 mg or both, then step up as tolerated.

My wife was having some stomach trouble that may or may not be the Berberine (Vitamin C in extremely large doses, new diet, Magnesium in fairly large doses, and she may have an infection…)

I couldn’t find Berberine at 250mg so I just bought the POWDER in bulk so I could create whatever does we need.

Actually we buy many (and more each month) of our supplements as bulk powder.

I am quite tired of all those fillers and the extra pills to take. Far easier to just mix it in my water or electrolyte juice (or bone broth, or fat shake or even just eat if off the spoon.)

(bulkbiker) #16

Will give you the most amazing shits…

(Herb Martin) #17

Not 100% true but it can happen if you use the wrong type of magnesium improperly.

There are a variety of types:

Some are far easier on your gut, and some are almost guaranteed to do what you say.

Magnesium Malate especially time release works well for me. Taurate and Threonate don’t seem to be a problem for me.

I just received the orotate so not sure about it yet.

Citrate (juries out on if this good at all but it’s supposed to be easier and absorbable), Gyclonate (calming for sleep), Threonate (mind), Malate, Taurate, Orotate.

Mg Chloride for external application to skin (feels like oil).

Epsom Salts for baths & soaks. No gut issue and you do pull these last two in through the skin.

(Karen) #18

I read up on berberine and decided to try it. At the same time I decided to use glucomannan. So I’m seeing some weight loss but I don’t know which is causing it. Metformin was supposedly supposed to be introduced slowly. Maybe the same is true for berberine.
185.8 lbs
I’ll weigh in tomorrow and see.
All my other food is low-carb not necessarily keto. Baby steps


I started keto about 7 months ago. I started Berberine shortly after. I’ve lost about 50 lbs. since then. I’d lost 25 lbs. prior to that. At the time I did not know what keto was, never-the-less, I’d eliminated sugar and most processed foods.

The one side effect I have is loose stools, sometimes diarrhea. I also take magnesium so…

Taking milk thistle is supposed to increase the efficacy of Berberine. I try to take the Berberine at least fifteen minutes before I eat.

My morning glucose readings recently dropped into the 110-125 range so I decided to stop taking the Berberine. The next morning, even though I had eaten a very low carb dinner, under 4 carbs, my blood glucose was 150. I’d had a bad night so I didn’t take anything for the next couple of days. I’m averaging 140. I’ve decided to continue with the Berberine for a bit longer.

(Bacon is better) #20

You may be overdoing salt or magnesium. You might have to experiment a bit to find the best intake.