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Berberine
Berberine

Julian Whitaker, M.D.

Berberine Where-to-buy2015

NPN 80051589

Maintain Healthy Glucose Metabolism and Cardiovascular Health!

What to expect from this product:

  • Support Glucose Metabolism
  • Maintain Cardiovascular Health

Berberine is a bitter yellow plant alkaloid that has long been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Berberine is found in several plants such as goldenseal and barberry. The medicinal use of Berberine goes back more than 3,000 years. Modern science has now identified precise mechanisms of action and given clear indications for the therapeutic benefits of berberine.

In the case of diabetes, human trials have shown that the use of berberine increases the production of insulin receptors in cell membranes. These receptors are needed for normal sugar metabolism. This effect is likely responsible for lower fasting blood sugar levels, lower blood sugar levels after meals, and improvements in blood sugar markers seen in patients after supplementation with berberine.

In terms of the cardiovascular benefits of berberine, it appears that the alkaloid improves the quality of life and cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure. Indeed, patients reported an increased tolerance for exercise, less fatigue, and less episodes of shortness of breath. There were also fewer deaths reported in the berberine group. Berberine supplementation appears to decrease cholesterol levels and reduces inflammatory markers.

EACH CAPSULE CONTAINS

Medicinal Ingredients
  • Berberine (hydrochloride) (Berberis vulgaris) (root)... 500 mg

Non-Medicinal Ingredients:

  • Gelatin capsule (gelatin, purified water), microcrystalline cellulose, silica, vegetable grade magnesium sterate (lubricant).

I capsule 2 times daily with meals or as directed by a health care practitioner. Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond three months.

 

What is Berberine used for?

Traditionally used in Chinese and Ayurvedic (Hindu) medicine, Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a multitude of established benefits, including (but not limited to): normalizing sugar metabolism, reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol levels. 

How does Berberine work?

Berberine works by targeting the activated protein kinase (AMPK) enzyme.  AMPK regulates glucose uptake - which helps move glucose out of the blood and into the cells, plus it also facilitates the burning of fatty acids in the cells.  Berberine may also work to increase the number and activity of insulin receptors on the cells, which can promote insulin sensitivity. 

How long before I can expect to see results with Berberine?

Dr. Whitaker has noted that some people might see an improvement in fasting glucose after about 2 weeks of taking Berberine, however everyone is different. We recommend taking the daily dosage of 2 capsules (1,000mg) per day for a minimum of 3 months in order to notice improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Why is there a caution to consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 3 months?

Two different studies that were performed, both of which showed significant results, were 3 months/12 weeks in duration only.  As such, we are obligated to include this caution in order to recommend that you check with your own health care practitioner after this length of time in order to determine your own results.  There is nothing to indicate that long term use of Berberine would be anything but safe and beneficial.

On your label, you claim "Provides support for healthy glucose metabolism" and "Helps maintain cardiovascular health in adults".  Can you please expand on these claims?

Clinical studies have shown that Berberine provides support for healthy glucose metabolism by:

- Lowering fasting blood sugar
- Lowering post-prandial blood sugar
- Lowering hemoglobin A1C levels
- Improving insulin sensitivity                                                                                      

The studies have also shown that Berberine helps maintain cardiovascular health in adults by:

- Improving cardiac output
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Preventing arteriosclerosis                                      

I have read that Berberine can help protect the liver.  Can you please explain?

Berberine can help protect the liver in two ways.  The first is by modulating the enzymes responsible for detoxification - by modifying the function of certain enzymes, Berberine helps to reduce liver injury following exposure to toxins.  The second way is by reduction of inflammation - through an effect on inflammatory cytokines, Berberine again helps to prevent the progression of liver injury.

Can I take Berberine with my statin medication as prescribed by my doctor?

Absolutely.  Trials have shown that Berberine can improve the effectiveness of statins.  The combination was shown to be safe and effective.

Should I stop taking my statin medication once I start taking Berberine?

You should not stop any medication without prior consultation from the prescribing health care professional.  After careful evaluation of blood values, and if cholesterol values remain normal, discontinuation of prescribed medication(s) could be considered.

Can I take Berberine if I am pregnant or when I am nursing?

No.  Berberine has been shown to have a uterine stimulant effect, and has been shown to cross the placenta - both of which could affect the fetus.  There is a lack of evidence demonstrating safety during lactation, and so it is best to avoid taking Berberine during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Is Berberine gluten free?

Yes, we do have confirmation on file that there is no gluten added and no gluten present in the Berberine formula.  However, our manufacturing facility is NOT a gluten free facility, and as we do process products that contain gluten we are unable to confirm 100% that there is no possibility of cross contamination.

Is Berberine GMO free?

Yes, we have received confirmation that the Berberine formula is free of any genetically modified organisms.

Does Berberine have an NPN?  There isn't one on my bottle?

Berberine does indeed have an 8-digit NPN, which will appear on future labels.  We apologize for any inconvenience not having it on the current label may cause.

Do all of your products have an NPN?

Yes, all of our products have been issued a Natural Product Number (NPN) by Health Canada – these numbers do appear on our labels.  Further Natural Health Product criteria and information can be found on the Health Canada website www.hc-sc.gc.ca  Under the Food and Drugs Act items that are considered a food – for example, our protein powders and herbal teas – do not require an NPN. 

Why are some of Dr. Whitaker's formulas in the USA so different from what we can purchase here in Canada?

Canadian and USA regulations differ.  Some ingredients are allowed in the US that are not allowed in Canada.  Please be assured that the alternatives used in the Canadian formulas provide the same health benefits and are of the utmost quality.

Are your capsules GMO free?

Yes, our vegetarian capsule shells, our gelatin capsule shells and our softgel shells are all non-GMO.

Are your products GMO free?

Confirmation for many products has been listed separately as to whether or not GMOs are present in the formula or if any ingredients have come from a genetically modified source.  If nothing is indicated on the FAQs then we are still in the process of having testing done and the product information will be updated once complete.  This information will be updated on our website, as well as on our product information sheets and on our labels.  This will be done as quickly as possible and on a product-by-product basis.

Why have your cautions and your recommended/suggested usages changed so dramatically on many of your labels?

The changes you are noticing to our suggested usage and cautionary statements have been at the directive of Health Canada.  There have been many regulatory changes with regards to Natural Health Products causing companies to change their labels accordingly.  We update our website, product information sheets and labels on the actual products to reflect these regulations as quickly as we possibly can.  Health Canada and the industry representing natural health products act according to the interest of consumers and their safety.  As a result, if there is any concern with an existing condition, a caution is added to advise the consumer to seek out feedback from their Health Care professional. 

Where do you source your products from? 

Please be advised that all of our ingredients, including flavourings, are derived from natural ingredients and are ISURA tested & certified (in order to ensure the absence of GMOs, contaminants, heavy metals and adulteration).  All of our products are manufactured at a GMP facility certified by Health Canada.  All raw materials come in and are tested for purity, safety and potency.  If they do not meet our standards they are rejected and sent back or destroyed.  We use the highest quality ingredients available, and choose organic whenever we can.  Many of our products contain proprietary patented ingredients that have been clinically researched to help deliver optimal results and outstanding quality.

Will this product help me lose weight?

There is no such thing as a "magic" pill or product - the only way to succeed (and maintain) true weight loss is by adopting a healthy lifestyle combining adequate exercise and proper nutrition. If you are concerned about poor eating habits or cravings, then we recommend you seek advice from a Nutritionist or Naturopath to obtain some guidance on healthy eating, as well as to investigate possible underlying (or undiagnosed) hormonal imbalances, which can make it harder to lose weight.  You might also want to consider speaking with a personal trainer to help you discover a fun fitness program that you enjoy - because, no matter what, in order to achieve and maintain any type of weight loss, exercise is required.  Our vitamins and supplements are designed to help you in your quest to a daily, healthy lifestyle, however it also requires effort on your part.

Are any of your products tested on animals?

No, there is no animal testing on any of our products.

Are your products gluten free?

Confirmation for many products has been listed separately as to whether or not gluten is added and/or present in the formula.  If nothing is indicated on the FAQs then we are in the process of having gluten testing done and the product information will be updated once complete.  Please be advised however that our manufacturing facility is NOT a gluten free facility.

Are your products peanut free?

Following compliance with food regulations, in order to make a negative claim such as "peanut free", it would be necessary to insure a zero tolerance of any peanut traces, including the possibility of cross contamination.  Although our manufacturing facility has a policy in place for allergen control, there is no specific policy for peanuts, nor is there a specific "no peanut agreement" with our raw material suppliers.

Can your products be used after the expiry date has passed?

Supplements generally keep their potency long after the expiry date.  There is certainly no safety issues with consuming after the expiry date has passed however the potency degrades over longer periods of time.

If a product does not specify "vegetarian capsule", then what is it made from?

These capsules are gelatin capsules sourced from either pork or beef.

Are any of your products "vegan-friendly"?

Yes, AdrenaSense, EstroSense, MenoSense, BioSil, Medi-C Plus, Magnesium and MagSense (from our WomenSense and Preferred Nutrition product lines), the Healing Teas, our Ultimate Maca Energy products and the Ultimate VEGAN line are all vegan friendly.

Why can't I find any prices on your website?

Preferred Nutrition is the wholesale distribution company for the products on this website. However we sell exclusively to Health Food stores & selected Natural Pharmacies across Canada, not directly to the general public.  Because the prices of our products can vary from store-to-store, we are unable to list our suggested prices on our website.  We recommend you contact your local retailer and inquire about prices directly with them.

Can I purchase products directly from you?  I went to a health food store and the prices seem very expensive.

We distribute our products in Canada only and we sell directly to Health Food stores - since they have a personal commitment to the natural health lifestyle.  Consumers are then able to buy our products from knowledgeable staff that are genuinely interested in helping people be well - people who care!  Always be sure to look for in store promotions or coupons when you are making your purchases as this can help alleviate your cost concerns.

Do all health food stores carry all of your products?

To find Health Food stores in your area that carry our products, please click on "Store Locator" at the top of this screen.  All you have to do is enter your postal code and you will be given a list of retailers in the radius that you choose. We do recommend calling ahead to see if they stock the item you are looking for and in most cases if a store does not normally carry something, they will offer to do a special order for you.

Should your supplements be taken with or without food?

Most of our products will specify directly on the bottle whether they should be taken with a meal or not.  If nothing is stated, then the choice is yours as to when the best time is for you to take them.  In general, however, most vitamin supplements should be taken with food because once eating starts the digestive process, enzymes and gastric juices are generated and usually the nutrients will be absorbed and assimilated better.

I like the sound of many of your products.  Am I able to take different formulas at the same time?

Yes, it's safe to combine various WomenSense products to help support the body in achieving optimal health.  The same applies to the Preferred Nutrition line, Dr. Whitaker's formulas and Brad King's.  If you are unsure of any combination, then please consult your Health Care Practitioner.

I have heard that drinking green tea along with my supplements will end up flushing out all the nutrients?  Is this true?

No, you are fine taking your supplements with green tea.  Coffee inhibits the absorption of nutrients, but the caffeine in green tea will not pose the same problem.

Can you tell me if I can combine any of your supplements with the medication(s) I am on, as prescribed by my doctor?

It is best to consult your Doctor or alternative Health Practitioner before taking any new supplements while on prescribed medication.  If you have been approved to add our supplement(s) to your daily regime, then we do recommend that you space the medication and the supplements out by at least one hour.

Can I take your products when I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

We are not able to make any recommendations with any of our products when it comes to pregnancy or while nursing.  You must contact your Health Practitioner, Naturopath or Pharmacist.

I understand that you put a recommended dosage on your labels, but I can take more or less than that, right?  And, really, do I have to take the product every day?

With regards to the recommended dosage, we would suggest you speak to your Doctor or Health Care Practitioner before increasing any amounts.  As with any supplement you can determine your amount based on your personal preference - if you find that a product works for you immediately then you should be fine to take it just on the days you feel you need it, but again we suggest you discuss this with you MD or HP.  Some consumers find that a product needs to be in their system for a few days to a few weeks before they notice results and/or feel the full benefits.

I don't understand why when I purchase your product and open the bottle, the contents don't even fill 1/2 of the packaging that is being used?

The containers we use are determined based on product fill and required label information, as well as capsule count when/where applicable.  Sometimes we do have to use a larger bottle than seems necessary because of the information required on the labels - requirements both from Health Canada and in order for the label to be clear and legible to our consumers.  Also, in a case where we are offering larger volume (ie/ 400g versus 200g or 180 capsules versus 90 capsules), then we have to put the contents in a bigger container in order for there to be differentiation on the shelf.

I bought a bottle of your product, and although it seemed to feel lighter than usual, I didn't think much of it, until I opened the bottle and discovered that there is nowhere near the amount of capsules inside as there should have been.  How can this happen?

As part of our corporate policy and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirement, our procedures incorporate routine in-process checks plus a final examination of the finished product to ensure conformance to all aspects of quality, including correct product count.  There are a number of checks and balances performed by both Production and Quality Assurance personnel prior to, during, and after the packaging operations to ensure that product under-counts do not happen. Although product under-counts can happen, this occurrence is rare.  Should you discover that your bottle is far below the label claim count upon opening - we recommend you return it to your point of purchase as per our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

What is your 100% money-back (customer satisfaction) guarantee?

Our 100% money-back/customer satisfaction guarantee ensures that if a customer is not completely satisfied with their purchase, they can return the unused portion of the product (in its original packaging) back to their point of purchase and we will credit the Health Food store 100% of their purchase price from us.  We cannot dictate if a store will give cash back or an in-store credit, nor can we override store policies already in place ~ but we do promise to credit them, regardless of the reason for the return.

Berberine for Diabetes, Cholesterol & High Blood Pressure

Lan J, Zhao Y, Dong F, et al. Meta-analysis of the effect and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipemia and hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol 2015;161:69-81

This meta-analysis of 27 randomized controlled studies included 2,569 people. It looked at the effectiveness and safety of berberine for type 2 diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

For type 2 diabetes, it found that berberine with lifestyle intervention lowered fasting blood sugar levels, blood sugar levels after eating and HbA1c more than lifestyle intervention alone. HbA1c is the best measure of long term blood sugar and diabetes control. Berberine was more effective than placebo. Berberine added to diabetes drugs was safe and superior to diabetes drugs alone and there was no statistical difference between berberine and diabetes drugs: that is, the natural treatment was as effective as the pharmaceutical treatment.

For cholesterol, berberine with lifestyle intervention was more effective than lifestyle intervention alone. The analysis found that it is not only safe to add berberine to cholesterol drugs, but that the addition of berberine to cholesterol lowering drugs is superior to the drugs alone at lowering total cholesterol and the harmful LDL cholesterol and at raising the heart healthy HDL cholesterol. Compared to cholesterol drugs, berberine alone is as good at lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and superior for lowering triglycerides and raising HDL cholesterol.

For high blood pressure, berberine with lifestyle intervention is superior to lifestyle intervention alone. Berberine is more effective than placebo. Berberine added to blood pressure drugs was safe and superior to drugs alone.

Adverse events on berberine were fewer and milder than on medications. There were no serious adverse events for berberine in any of the 27 studies.

The researchers concluded that berberine has a comparable effect as drugs for type 2 diabetes, cholesterol problems and high blood pressure.

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