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Berberine’s Effect on the Glycemic Profile

iStock-821369234Results of a randomized clinical trial were recently published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, detailing the effect of berberine (as Berberine PhytosomeTM) on the metabolic profile of overweight participants with impaired fasting glucose (IFG). Forty-nine non-diabetic participants with a fasting glucose between 110 and 126 mg/dL and a mean BMI near 30 kg/m2 were randomized to receive either placebo or 550 mg Berberine PhytosomeTM (corresponding to 188 mg berberine) twice per day (before lunch and dinner), and assessed at baseline, 30 days, and 60 days. Fasting glucose was the primary endpoint, with the secondary assessment of lipids, insulin resistance, and body composition (via a DXA scan) also included.

At 60 days, a significant decrease (β=-0.2495%) in fasting glucose was observed in the group receiving berberine compared to placebo. The group receiving berberine had an initial fasting glucose of 110.7 mg/dL which decreased to 97.6 mg/dL by 60 days (an 11.8% decrease), while the placebo group dropped from an initial 112 to 107.5 mg/dL (a 4% decrease) by 60 days. Significant improvements were also observed for total cholesterol, fasting insulin ApoB/ApoA, visceral adipose tissue, and fat mass. No significant differences between groups were observed for other secondary endpoints, such as gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), and no adverse effects were reported. This study is consistent with many previous trials demonstrating the benefits of berberine supplementation for glycemic and metabolic control, including a meta-analysis of 46 randomized and controlled trials with diabetic participants, which found improvements in multiple parameters, including HbA1c, BMI, insulin sensitivity, and hyperlipidemia.

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