Berberine vs. Metformin

Dear Dr. Dean,

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2004 and the VA prescribed Metformin, but my blood sugar is no longer very well controlled. My question is, can I safely start taking Berberine along with the Metformin until I see what effect the Berberine has on this disease?

RICHARD, Springfield, VT

Dear Richard,

Yes, you can absolutely take Berberine along with your Metformin. They complement each other. I recommend that you make sure you are on the optimum dose of Metformin—2000 mg per day—and the same dose of Berberine. Also, Mulberry has also been demonstrated to help maintain normal levels of blood sugar and insulin.

Since you’ve got access to the VA, see if they will prescribe one of the new drugs like Invokana, Jardiance or Farxiga, which lowers the renal threshold for glucose, enabling you to excrete more glucose through the urine; and ask about a starch-blocker like Acarbose or Glyset. This class of drugs is rarely prescribed in the U.S., but is the most commonly used anti-diabetic drug in China. Alternatively, you could try white kidney bean extract, available over the counter, which is also a starch blocker (although not as effective as the drugs).

Also, consider Durk & Sandy’s low glycemic products. That combination should help control your blood sugar and insulin.

Ward Dean, MD

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