It is estimated that around 1 in 10 Americans (37.3 million people) have diabetes. About 20% of people with diabetes are unaware they have it.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which levels of glucose build up in a person’s bloodstream. While typically insulin, a hormone, helps to move glucose from the blood to cells (where it is used for energy), for people with type 2 diabetes, their bodies are not able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into the cells.
There are a number of treatment options for type 2 diabetes. In this blog post, we will look at two of these—berberine vs metformin—and consider the differences. If you or someone you know suffers from type 2 diabetes, read on.
What Is Metformin?
Metformin is a common medicine for type 2 diabetes. It works to keep a person’s blood sugar at a healthy level. It is typically offered by doctors before starting insulin treatment.
It works to decrease blood glucose levels in a number of ways, including reducing insulin resistance, which allows the body to absorb sugar more effectively. It also decreases the absorption of glucose in the intestine and increases glucose uptake in the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.
Metformin is FDA-approved, which is one of the main differences between it and berberine. It comes as tablets and is taken either with or after meals. There are a number of side effects with metformin; click here to learn more if you are wondering does metformin cause diarrhea?
What Is Berberine?
Berberine is a powerful supplement that comes with many benefits, including for those with type 2 diabetes. Research shows that it is effective in causing a major reduction in blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
It is a bioactive compound extracted from different plants, including Berberis, a group of shrubs. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments.
In terms of effectiveness, it is comparable to metformin. Some of the benefits of taking berberine include:
- Decreases insulin resistance
- Increases glycolysis
- Decreases sugar production in the liver
- Increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut
- Slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut
Berberine is not approved by the FDA for any prescription use. We highly recommend speaking to a doctor about the benefits of both metformin and berberine to see which option is best for you. Taking berberine may also help a person tolerate metformin with fewer side effects.
Berberine vs Metformin: Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
The bottom line is that both berberine and metformin can help people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend the most suitable option and dosage for you, depending on the specifics of your case.
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