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Benefits of Berberine: An Ancient Miracle Substance

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For thousands of years, Chinese Medicine practitioners have known the healing powers of berberine. Science is now catching up, with research supporting the many benefits of this supplement. Berberine benefits metabolism, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and protects cardiovascular health. It’s also incredibly supportive of general wellness and many other chronic conditions.

What is berberine?

Berberine is an alkaloid, which simply means that it’s a compound extracted from plants and contains nitrogen. Alkaloids alter the physiology of the human body, often with potent therapeutic effects. You can find berberine in many plant species, such as Oregon grape, barberry, tree turmeric, goldenseal, and yellowroot. 

Berberine functions like a medication, as it can bind to molecules within the body and change their function. But unlike most drugs, berberine has few adverse side effects.

The top benefits of berberine

This powerful plant acts on a cellular level, widely affecting many different body systems. Let’s take a closer look at the specific conditions that berberine can benefit. 

Prevents and treats cancer

Who knew that a plant-derived substance could have such powerful anti-cancer qualities? Research demonstrates the power of berberine to prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells. Studies have shown that it can even cause cell death, or apoptosis, of cancer cells. 

It helps the body clean out damaged cells and make room for new ones, which may help reverse drug resistance and may make chemotherapy more effective in the fight against cancer. Exciting research is being done on the benefits of berberine for specific types of cancer.

Can help fight off infections

Berberine has antimicrobial properties that make it effective against many different types of bacteria and parasites. It can reduce the replication of viruses, including HIV, HSV, and HPV, and can help boost the immune response. While further research is necessary, it’s likely that berberine could even fight COVID-19.

Lowers blood sugar and treats diabetes

Berberine is most known for its metabolic effects in supporting type 2 diabetes. Activation of the AMPK enzyme helps coordinate metabolic processes, which means that the body is more able to take in blood sugar, mimicking the action of insulin. This allows for better control of blood sugar and may even reverse insulin resistance.

Berberine alters the gut microbiome similar to the popular diabetes medication metformin, resulting in better absorption of glucose and lower blood sugar. In a study of people with type 2 diabetes, berberine use over three months led to a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C. For prediabetics, this herb could prevent the progression to diabetes.

Women diagnosed with PCOS tend to struggle with insulin resistance and metabolic issues. Early research has shown that berberine may help support metabolic health in this population as well. 

Can help with weight loss

Berberine’s effects on blood sugar and insulin resistance can also aid in weight loss. By avoiding swings in blood sugar, you can get your appetite under control. The anti-inflammatory qualities of this powerful plant compound may also support weight loss, as chronic inflammation is linked with obesity and metabolic disease. One study showed that obese individuals lost an average of five pounds when taking berberine over 12 weeks.

Improves cardiovascular health

Diabetes and obesity are major underlying risk factors for heart disease. So it makes sense that berberine would also support the cardiovascular system. It has proven to lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, which can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. In one study, berberine, in conjunction with medication, lowered systolic pressure by five points and diastolic by two points

Combined with other lifestyle changes, berberine may be helpful for those wanting to wean off medications. If this is your goal, make sure you work closely with a holistic doctor and check your blood pressure daily.

Berberine can improve endothelial function and prevent atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. It increases the number of LDL receptors on the liver, supporting the regulation of cholesterol. All these changes to the cardiovascular system lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and early mortality.

Berberine can even help treat individuals who already have severe cardiovascular conditions. One study investigated individuals diagnosed with heart failure who started supplementation. The result was an improved quality of life, increased exercise tolerance, and a lower mortality rate. 

If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, berberine could be useful in helping to get these conditions under control. It’s a simple and low-cost way to support your best heart health.

Other potential benefits of berberine

It doesn’t stop there – more and more studies are showing the effect of berberine on other conditions. Some of these include:

How to safely take berberine

The typical dosage of berberine is 500mg, three times per day, taken before meals. It has a short half-life, meaning that it’s processed and eliminated quickly. This is why it’s important to space out your dosages if you’re trying to control your blood sugar.

Berberine is a very safe and low-cost supplement without major side effects or harmful long-term effects on the body. The most common side effects are mild digestive upset. Before starting this supplement, talk to your holistic doctor. This is especially important if you’re taking medications for high blood pressure or diabetes.

Berberine vs. pharmaceuticals: there is no competition

Pharmaceuticals often do what they’re prescribed for, but not without consequence. Most medications can cause side effects and may induce long-term consequences. Prescription drugs are a temporary solution that will often create other issues down the road.

Next steps

The benefit of a natural supplement like berberine is how it works with your body to support overall health. Make sure you get a high-quality supplement like this one with no harmful additives. For best results, pair supplementation with diet and lifestyle changes.

Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well 

Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD 2022


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He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

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About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

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Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

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Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.


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We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

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Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.