Berberine supplement named as Nature’s Ozempic, but is it?

It seems like almost everyone is talking about Ozempic® these days (I know I am in my practice), and for good reason. I believe this medication is truly a miracle drug for people who want to lose weight (as long as they are an appropriate candidate). Since not everyone wants to go the “drug” route, of course there is chatter about a natural supplement alternative, and in this case it’s berberine.

But before we dive in, it’s important to know what Ozempic is. This is actually a brand name for generic semaglutide, which is one of several injectable diabetes drugs that are called GLP-1 agonists. These medications are helpful for diabetics because they lower blood glucose levels and stimulate the production of insulin. In addition, people taking these drugs are losing weight!

Now back to berberine… This natural botanical compound can be derived from several plants, and it has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for more than 3,000 years. Research has shown that berberine can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

However, only two small studies have taken a closer look at berberine’s benefits for weight loss. Not to get too scientific, but this study confirmed the supplement’s benefits for blood sugar levels, and found it improves metabolism while modulating the gut hormones that influence food intake and energy balance. This research found that berberine lowers blood lipids (i.e. cholesterol) and is associated with mild weight loss.

Although these results are nowhere close to those we’re seeing with semaglutide, I believe it can offer a helping hand to those who are trying to lose weight by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. For the record, berberine is not a miracle drug when used by itself.

I suggest a daily dose of 500mg to 1,000mg of berberine. Just keep in mind that the potential side effects of berberine can include diarrhea and bloating, and it may affect the kidneys and liver.

If you are generally healthy, not taking other medications, and are really trying to lose weight, you can take berberine—with the right mindset and lifestyle it may help. Just be sure to check with your primary care physician before taking this or any supplement to avoid interactions with any other medications you may be taking, and always buy berberine from a reputable retailer.

If you are a candidate for real Ozempic, semaglutide or another GLP-1 agonist, there is no true natural alternative (at least not yet). Weight loss-wise, these are quite effective medications that have a proven safety record and offer real results.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this article Dr. Sandhu! Your website looks fantastic and the article is brief and well-written that makes me want to read more of what you have to say!! Much success in this new endeavor!

  2. I have been taking this since March w a few other supplements . I had started to lose weight before but w this have lost about double and feel great!

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