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Berberine: Legit or Snake Oil?

September 29, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — richardsonpw @ 12:23 pm
person taking dietary supplements

Every now and then, there’s news of a new diet supplement or diet that seems to have miraculous results. Within the last couple of years, a medication called Ozempic came onto the market and has had success in helping those with Type 2 diabetes keep their A1C levels in a healthy range. But it also has helped patients lose weight!

Even more recently, a dietary supplement has been called a “natural Ozempic.” Should you jump on this bandwagon and try this supplement to shed excess weight? Read on to learn why you should be wary of this new supplement.

How Can Dietary Supplements Be Dangerous?

Unlike prescription medication, which undergoes more rigorous trials and testing before being put on the market, supplements are subject to much less regulation. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration does not have to approve it or evaluate its safety and effectiveness before supplements are sold to patients. As a result, those who take supplements may think they are getting something natural or effective but really aren’t.

Is Berberine Effective?

Reputable studies on berberine are few, but some indicate that berberine can cause a little bit of weight loss—under five pounds and a half inch around the waist. However, it’s difficult to tell if the weight loss was due to the supplement or to other coinciding factors like lowering blood sugar levels.

What Are Potential Risks of Berberine?

The most common side-effects of berberine have been gastrointestinal distress in the form of diarrhea and gas. This supplement can alter the way the liver processes other medications, often making them overly effective. For instance, diabetes medication, when taken with berberine, can bring blood sugar levels too low. There has also been reports of a rare type of brain damage called kernicterus as a result of taking berberine.

Again, not much research has been done on this supplement, so there could be other risks that haven’t been identified yet.

The Safest Approach to Medical Weight Loss

Although new innovations in medicine can and do happen, the safest way to go about trying to lose weight is with the help of a medical weight loss team. As experts in the field, they can help you discern passing or dangerous fads from real weight-loss principles that work.

Instead of trying risky, unregulated dietary supplements that may or may not work, trust a medical team to recommend ones that have been tested and shown to be effective. They can safely give you the help you need to see progress and achieve your goals.

About the Practice

Richardson Pain & Wellness doesn’t focus on just managing pain but also on overall wellness. As a result, we offer medical weight loss support, anti-aging treatments, and more. If you would like to learn more about healthy supplements you could take advantage of, schedule an appointment with our team online or call our office at 972-907-1125.

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