How to use Berberine to Boost Weight Loss & Lower Blood Sugar

How to use Berberine to Boost Weight Loss, Lower Blood Sugar & More

Berberine might just be one of the best supplements you’ve never heard of. 

Through its powerful effects on insulin and muscle mass berberine can help lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin levels. 

This effect is so strong that it has been compared to pharmaceutical medications (more on that below!). 

Beyond its effects on blood sugar and insulin berberine also shows promise in several other areas. 

Among these conditions include:

  • The ability to lower inflammation
  • The ability to reduce gas, bloating, and overgrowth of bacteria and fungus in the GI tract
  • The ability to improve cholesterol profile
  • And much more…

Is berberine right for you?

Let’s talk about how to determine if you should take it, how much you should take and how long you should be taking it for:

How Berberine Helps with Weight Loss

Like other supplements that may help with weight loss, the mechanism of action of berberine alters many different pathways and has multiple benefits. 

By now you should be aware that there is no “magical cure” for weight loss, or that one simple supplement or medication will result in significant weight loss by itself.

table from a clinical study showing the impact of berberine vs metformin on the hgb a1c level and that they are very similar to one another.

Instead, if weight loss is your goal, your focus should be on targeting specific hormonal pathways that are out of balance in YOUR body.

Berberine happens to impact several of these hormonal pathways and this is probably one of the main reasons that berberine has been shown to help with weight loss.

Before we begin I want to point out that berberine is best used if it is part of a comprehensive weight loss plan that includes other targeted supplements, hormones (as necessary), dietary changes, managing your stress, and getting enough sleep.

So now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about the many ways that berberine may help with weight loss.  

6 numbered ways that berberine can help with weight loss listed on an image with a background of an apple.

#1. Targets Insulin Resistance and Helps Treat Diabetes

One of the most important effects of berberine is how it interacts with the hormone insulin.

Insulin levels drive weight gain and many diseases.

What you may not understand about insulin is that about 50% of patients in the US have insulin resistance to some degree.

In my experience, almost every patient who is overweight (defined as 10+ pounds beyond “normal” weight) has some degree of insulin resistance.

Part of the problem is in the diagnosis and management of insulin levels because most physicians don’t treat this condition until you’ve crossed the line into the diabetic range.

This is unfortunate because many people have high fasting insulin levels but technically don’t fall into the category of being diabetic, and thus they don’t receive treatment.

So how does berberine alter insulin levels?

Berberine activates a protein called AM​​PK.

The activation of this protein results in sensitizing your body to insulin, activates the fat-burning enzymes in your body, and helps reduce body fat stores.

This effect is so strong that berberine has been shown in studies to have the same blood glucose-lowering effects as the prescriptio​​n medication metformin (1).

table from a study showing berberine combination therapy helped reduce waist and waist/hip measurements over 13 weeks.

Patients who took both metformin and berberine in combination with each other lost 2+ inches over a 13-week period. 

These inches lost in the waist/hip ratio likely indicate the burning of visceral body fat.

As you might already know, this visce​​ral fat (2) hides under your organs and accounts for the “belly fat” that everyone wants to get rid of.

  • Bottom line: Berberine helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels which can help reduce abdominal and visceral fat stores. This is mediated through its activation of a protein known as AMPK. 

#2. Increases Mitochondrial Density and Boosts Metabolism

Another huge benefit of berberine is that it impacts mitochondria directly. 

If you aren’t aware of the function and value of mitochondria let me fill you in:

Your mitochondria are (in part) responsible for the metabolism of your entire body (3).

That means that the more mitochondria your body has and the better that they function the more energy you will be burning at rest. 

Energy that you will be burning while eating, drinking, thinking, sleeping, etc.

When we talk about weight loss we really are interested in increasing basal metabolic rate (another name for metabolism) because your metabolism is responsible for 90%+ of the calories you burn on a daily basis.

Only a few things actually increase mitochondria and one of those things is exercise (4) (this is one of the ways that exercise helps with weight loss)…

Another is berberine.

Berberine helps boost mitochondrial bio​​genesis (5) (meaning it increases the number of mitochondria) in muscle mass. 

This is really important for several reasons:

1) High sugar/high-fat diets reduce the effectiveness of your mitochondria (it makes them run more slowly and produce energy less efficiently)

2) Mitochondria are responsible for both your basal metabolic rate (in part) as well as your subjective sense of having enough “energy”

Boosting the number of mitochondria helps increase metabolism and can revert the damage done by sugar and insulin-stimulating foods on your mitochondria. 

  • Bottom line: Berberine increases the number of mitochondria in muscle mass which may increase metabolism and improve the overall efficiency of existing mitochondria. This boost to metabolism helps promote weight loss. 

#3. Induces Brown Fat Break Down and Increases Fat Break Down Overall

When it comes to fat cells, not all fat is bad fat. 

In your body, some of your fat is known as “brown” fat, and this is the good fat.

Brown fat actually helps your body burn more fat by increasing heat production (6).

Basically, you want more brown fat and less of the other fat like visceral fat that occurs as a result of refined sugar/carbohydrates/insulin. 

Berberine actually helps enhance the amount of brow​​n fat in your body (7).

Studies have shown that this increase results in an increase in resting energy expenditure (metabolism), limits weight gain, reduces cold intolerance (by virtue of increasing body temperature), and increases brown fat production. 

Not bad, right?

I want to focus on one important point mentioned above:

Berberine helps to reduce cold intolerance by increasing body temperature.

This is really important because it reflects berberine’s capacity to increase metabolism (likely through mitochondrial production + brown fat production).

The more energy your body produces at baseline, the more heat that is released, the more calories you burn, and the higher your metabolism is.

This is yet another way that berberine may improve metabolism overall and help with weight loss.

  • Bottom line: Berberine enhances brown fat in the body which helps increase body temperature, burn more fat, and increase baseline metabolism. All of these factors improve weight loss. 

#4. Lowers Inflammation in Fat & Liver Cells

When it comes to losing weight you need to make sure you have as little inflammation in your body as possible. 

Inflammation is certainly a nebulous term nowadays and is generally thrown around loosely when we don’t exactly understand why something is happening in the body. 

This leads to statements like “inflammation is the root of all diseases”.

And while there may be some truth to that statement, it isn’t necessarily helpful unless we understand how exactly it impacts our health and weight overall.

Generalized inflammation in the body is bad for several reasons:

1) Inflammation reduces metabolism by reducing T4 to T3 conversion and reducing the efficiency of thyroid hormone. 

2) Inflammation leads to a condition known as adipos​​opathy (8) (inflammation of the fat cells) which leads to the dysregulation of hormones produced from fat cells.

3) Inflammation worsens both insulin and leptin resistance which leads to weight gain directly and weight loss resistance

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These are just a few of the negative effects of inflammation by the way, but it’s easy to see with these changes that inflammation makes weight gain easier and weight loss more difficult. 

So how does berberine fit in?

Berberine has been shown to lower generalized inflammation through its effects on the COX2 pathwa​​y (9).

In addition, it also has been shown to reduce inflammat​​ion in liver cells (10) – and this is important because inflammation in the liver leads to a condition known as fatty liver disease.  

  • Bottom line: Berberine helps reduce both generalized inflammatory levels and hepatocyte inflammation. Reducing inflammation is important for weight loss because of its negative effects on metabolism, thyroid function, and hormones in the body. 

#5. Treats GI-Related Issues Due to Antibacterial & Antifungal Effects

We touched on this briefly above, but inflammation is obviously not something you want when you are trying to lose weight.

Furthermore, studies have shown that the foods that we eat can specifically cause intestinal inflam​​mation (11) which initiates the hormone imbalances that lead to weight gain like insulin resistance and adiposopathy.

This intestinal inflammation should be differentiated from systemic inflammation (meaning whole-body inflammation).

Intestinal inflammation is important because much of it stems from diet-induced changes to our intestinal microflora.

The microbiome is the super collection of bacteria and fungi that populate our GI tracts and alter and change how we digest and assimilate calories and food.

Changes to the composition of these bacteria concentrations are felt to contribute to obesity (12).

The good news is that the food you eat influences these bacterial and fungal concentrations (for better or worse). 

Berberine happens to have very potent antibacterial and anti-fungal effects (13) which makes it a great choice for killing the overpopulation of negative bacteria in our GI tracts.

By limiting the growth of the bacterial and fungal overgrowth in your intestines berberine can actually help lower intestinal inflammation and treat conditions like SIBO and SIFO

Managing the inflammatory markers in your GI tract is very important for weight loss. 

  • Bottom line: Berberine has very active and powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects which can help lower intestinal inflammation in overgrowth syndromes like SIBO and SIFO. Inflammation in the GI tract leads to weight gain if not properly controlled. 

#6. Can be Combined with Other Medications & Supplements to Enhance Results 

If you’ve been reading my blog then you know I’m a big fan of adding supplements to medications to boost weight loss effects. 

The combination therapy of medications plus supplements seems to have a multiplicative effect, meaning that the combination of both together is more than what would be expected by simply adding the sum of their results individually.

Unfortunately, this logic runs counter to what many patients are used to. 

Most people believe that making one change at a time is the best way to determine if something is working or not.

But you need to understand that you are in your current position as a result of more than one negative stimulus: poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, high stress, etc.

The mindset of changing one variable at a time should be dropped in favor of making multiple changes at once all targeted around specific conditions.

This effect is also seen when using multiple supplements together and it applies to berberine as well (we will go over other supplements to help boost the results of berberine below).

Studies have even shown this effect to be true:

forest plot from a research study which highlights several studies on berberine.

In one example the combination of metformin plus berberine was enough to completely negate the weight gain seen with the psychiatric medication olanzapine (14).

Other studies have shown that the combination of metformin plus berberine (15) is very powerful at reducing inflammation in the setting of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

There are other medications that can be paired with berberine to help boost results that we will go over below.

  • Bottom line: Berberine can be combined with other medications like metformin to boost weight loss. Combination therapy has a multiplicative effect on reducing insulin and helping with weight loss. 

How to use Berberine for the Best Results

Like many supplements and medications in order to get the best results you really need to understand how to correctly take the supplement.

This means you need to understand if YOU should be taking it, how much you should be taking (is your dose high enough), how long should you take it and what side effects should you look out for.

Whenever possible it’s best to target supplementation to your specific hormone imbalances and other problems you are dealing with. 

In the case of berberine, it has multiple effects and so many patients stand to benefit from using it. 

Use this guide to help determine if you should use berberine: 

How to Supplement with Berberine

How to tell if you need it

Patients with any of the following conditions should consider using Berberine:

  • Problems with weight gain & weight loss resistance
  • Damaged metabolism
  • Known or suspected insulin resistance and/or elevated fasting blood glucose levels greater than 90
  • Known diagnosis of diabetes, pre-diabetes or high fasting blood glucose (patients who are also on diabetic medications like metformin) 
  • Diagnosis of fatty liver disease
  • Diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or small intestinal fungal overgrowth
  • Known or suspected systemic inflammation (as measured by elevated CRP and/or ESR)

How to Use

  • Take up to 2,000mg per day (split throughout the day as necessary)
  • Start titration at 500mg per day and increase as tolerated
  • Higher daily doses will be necessary for weight loss and treating insulin resistance
  • Duration of therapy should be consistent for at least 3 months (6+ months for insulin resistance + weight loss)

You can find my recommended berberine supplement here.

Combining berberine with other ingredients like alpha-lipoic acid can enhance its effects and allows you to get by with lower doses.

Make sure your dose is high enough and you take it long enough

To make sure that you are getting the most out of taking berberine you want to make sure your dose is high enough.

Dosing depends largely on which outcome you are searching for.

If you are treating diabetes, insulin resistance, or high blood sugar you may need dosages as high as 2,000mg per day.

If you are treating weight gain or weight loss resistance you may need doses as high as 2,000mg per day.

If you are treating fatty liver disease then doses of as much as 1,000mg per day may be necessary.

For treatment of SIBO and/or SIFO doses should be titrated to tolerance, but in general, this is a better supplement to treat GI-related issues (doses as high as 1,200mg per day may be necessary).

The length of treatment for weight loss and insulin resistance/high blood sugar/diabetes should be at least 6+ months (make sure to test blood sugar throughout treatment).

Other treatment durations may vary based on your response to the medication.

For instance:

If you are tracking fatty liver disease then you can follow your AST/ALT levels to determine if treatment is working.

Side effects to watch out for

In general, berberine is tolerated quite well at lower doses, but as the dose exceeds 1,000mg some patients may start to experience GI-related symptoms. 

Side effects of Berberine include:

  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Cramping, bloating, or an increase in gas
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Sensation of acid reflux or burning in the stomach area

Symptoms may subside if you reduce your dose and slow down your titration. 

How to use berberine with other supplements to boost weight loss + results

As mentioned above, to get the most benefit out of using berberine it is best to use this supplement in combination with other supplements that work in a similar yet slightly different manner.

With this method, you can boost the weight loss effects of berberine, boost the insulin lowering effects and increase metabolism more than just using any one supplement alone.

I’ve written extensively on these supplements in the past but will include some other supplements that I frequently pair with berberine for better results. 

These supplements all help to lower blood sugar, boost insulin, and increase mitochondrial function in some way:

  • Alpha lipoic ac​​id: ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that boosts mitochondrial function, reduces insulin resistance, and is incredibly powerful if used in conjunction with berberine. You can learn more about ALA in this comprehensive​​ post. 
  • Magnesium ​​citrate: Magnesium citrate helps sensitize the body to insulin levels, boosts energy production, and improves GI function. You can read more about how magnesium citrate helps with weight​​ loss here. Doses range from 200-2,000mg per day (titrated based on GI tolerance). 
  • Glucomannan​​ powder: This thick viscous fiber can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, improve GI gut bacteria and create a sensation of “fullness”. Using 4 capsules 15 minutes prior to each meal with a large glass of water is particularly effective for weight loss. 

For the most benefit, it’s best to combine berberine with at least 2 of the supplements listed above. 

Medications to Complement Berberine Activity to Help with Weight Loss

Berberine can also be combined with prescription medications to boost results. 

If you already know you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, elevated fasting blood sugar, or insulin resistance then you may or may not be on the medications listed below.

If you aren’t then you can use berberine (in combination with the other supplements above) with these medications temporarily for a boosted weight loss effect.

Yes, you can temporarily use these medications until your insulin/blood sugar levels fall and then revert back to supplements only or even lifestyle changes after that.

List of medications that work well with berberine and ones that I frequently use on my patients:

  • Metfor​​min: Metformin is widely prescribed for insulin resistance and can help in certain cases. It is, however, a relatively weak medication compared to the others below. 
  • GLP-1 agonists: This powerful medication can help reduce weight, lower leptin levels, and lower insulin levels. 
  • SGLT-2 inhibitors: This medication works to actively lower blood glucose levels by eliminating them from your body via urine. This directly results in lower blood sugar and lower insulin levels. 
  • T3 thyroid hormone: T3 helps sensitize the body to insulin, boosts mitochondrial function (increasing metabolism), and can help treat leptin resist​​ance as well. 

Wrapping it Up


There is no such thing as a magic weight loss supplement or medication.

There are however many medications and supplements that can ACTUALLY work.

You just need to make sure that you are using the right dose for your body.

Berberine is one of those supplements that can help patients with a damaged metabolism, weight gain due to insulin resistance, and/or blood sugar issues.

Remember that you may need to use berberine for as long as 6+ months to get the full benefit, and dosages up to 2,000mg per day may be necessary.

Now it’s your turn:

Have you heard of berberine before?

Have you taken it? Did it work for you?

Did it help you lose weight or did you use it for another purpose? Why or why not?

Leave your comments or questions below!
















cups full of different supplements and capsules with a tape in the middle under the text "how to use berberine for weight loss".

picture of westin childs D.O. standing

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

P.S. Here are 4 ways you can get more help right now:

#1. Get my free thyroid downloads, resources, and PDFs here.

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#3. Sign up to receive 20% off your first order.

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134 thoughts on “How to use Berberine to Boost Weight Loss, Lower Blood Sugar & More”

  1. I really wish I could be a patient of yours even if was via skype! I have been seeing a homeopathic Dr. for a year now and have not had results. I am so frustrated and cry because I just want to be “normal” with my hormones. If you have any friend Dr’s in the state of NV. PLEASE let me know.

    • Dr. Childs,
      I have to thank you and the information you post so frequently to help people like me. Before I discovered your blog I was suffering from Hashimoto and Insulin Resistance and doctors didn’t know how to treat me. I found a young DOM doc and she heard me and was opened to try the information that you share. I am feeling much better using LDN, Metformin, Ashwagandha, Selenium, Magnesium, and Berberine. many, many thanks. Your blog saves lives!

  2. Dr. Child’s love your website finally someone who understands. I had Graves at 30 and had RAI. Was put on synthroid for 10 years. Went from 125 to 160 in 2 months. Now my weight is out of control. My doctor said I had no t3 so put me on armour. Then was switched to compounded slow release t3. Nothing! No weight lose. Found out I had reverse t3 from being on high doses of armory in order to feel good. I have chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, lupus Now I am on compounded t4/t3 and cytomel three times a day. Tried every diet the last being Isagenix lost fat but scale didn’t really move. I am so frustrated! I also take bioidentical hormones. Have I completely damaged my metabolism? I feel I need to try WP and cytomel except I’m scared at the conversion from compounded. Don’t know how to do that. My stomach issues is I don’t absorb nutrients because my stomach dumps out too fast. What should I be doing differently. I am frustrated and depressed. Thanks for your time!

    • Hey Sonia,

      Yes, if you have a history of dieting then you have most likely damaged your metabolism from the calorie restriction. You can look at my metabolism reset program for more info on how to improve the issue.

    • Hello Dr. Westin. I am so so glad to have come across this information. I am eager to try this advice for weight loss after a thyroidectomy. I’ll get back to you in a few months to let you know how it’s going. In the meantime keep the helpful advice coming. ❤

      • Hi Gina,

        You’re welcome! And I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂 Please do keep us updated on your progress.

  3. Hello Dr. Childs, I have incorporated all the supplements you’ve recommended in the Hypothyroid/Hashimoto’s video for 3-4 weeks now and have already noticed a change in my skin clearing up and elevated energy level. I recently visited my endocrinologist and based off the symptoms of low body temp and no weightloss despite powerlifting (lifting heavy 4 days a week with two conditioning workouts) asked to be changed to NDT and she agreed. It’s only been only a few days since but for the first time in months, my body temp was 98.6 two days in a row and I’m am not wearing 3 layers of shirts. I have also been taking berberine (need to up my dose) and have already noticed a 4lb weight loss with this combination. Thank you for your valuable information.

  4. I started berberine by Thorne approximately 3 weeks ago. I only take on capsule a day. I have a ton of energy that I never had prior. I am taking berberine for 2 reasons, I have high bad chlorestral and I need to loose about 30 pounds. I am 4’11” and my goal weight is usually between 105 and 110. I currently am at 135. However, one thing I have noticed in the past 2 weeks is that I am getting a lot of nose bleeds that won’t stop once started. I am not a bleeder and not one to have nose bleeds. I thought maybe 1 capsule is too much but then again not sure how I would split it. I am thinking of maybe trying one capsule every other day. Your thoughts?

    • Did you continue getting nosebleeds? This makes me nervous since I just ordered the same Thorne product. I can’t take garlic because it gives me nosebleeds. Are you taking any other vitamins/supplements that would be considered blood thinners?

    • I started taking berberine this past week. When I increased from 500 mg. to 1000 mg. over the course of a day, I got a nosebleed. I haven’t had a nosebleed in about 50 years! I’ll just stick to the 500, and try increasing at a later date.

  5. Dear Dr. Childs,
    Your articles are very informative and research-based. I have had Hashimoto’s for almost 30 years. I am 64 now. It seems that Levothyroxine 100 mcg has become less effective. I have gained weight, have considerable joint pain and low stamina. I try to walk and do exercise, but I’ve noticed a considerable slowdown this year, including shortness of breath. I live at 6000 feet altitude, and I fear this has been detrimental. My PA would like me to use Armour, but I am hesitant. Please comment. Thank you.

    • Hi Margaret,

      Your symptoms may be due in part to hypothyroidism, but certainly only issues and hormonal imbalances are likely contributing as well.

    • Hi if you have gained weight you might need a higher dose of synthroid. At the Synthroid website has a wheel …you put in your weight in lbs and it spins to the correct dosage. If you do this check and also ask your doctor for a blood test to see if you need a higher dose. I am in the same situation. My weight gain was due to insulin resistance due to PCOS. I am taking both berberine and metformin and have lost 7lbs in about 10 weeks…slow and steady. I also take levothyroxine (same as synroid) and my dose was increased by my doctor as I had gained weight. If I also take algae based ALA I notice a reduction in joint pain. I am past menopause and also apply wild yam cream by Natures Best daily. I hope this is helpful.

  6. I have been using berberine for about 6 months. I found out about it via research after concluding that I have metabolic syndrome (I have also been hypothyroid for 20 years). Anyway, I could not lose more than a couple of pounds with diet and strenuous exercise, e.g. running, 4 to 5 times per week. I had been working out like this for the past 7 or 8 years and was beyond frustrated.

    With berberine I have lost about 20 pounds out of the 40 or so that I originally needed to lose. Additionally, my total cholesterol, which had been about 230 for the past several years, dropped to 165. I do not take statins (my doctor wanted me on them, but I could not tolerate them). I take 1500 mg a day in 3 doses of 500 mg.

    • that awesome I just been taking Berberine my self about 2 weeks along with other supplements I take that was prescribe by my functional medicine doctor and I also take D-ribose to help with ATP and Ashwaganda to help with stress and Magnesium glyincate and vit d and NAC and gluatathione to help with detox and good quality phyomuti capsules and I am so happy for you since you been taking berbeine the last 6 months and the wishing the best to you health.

  7. I tried to take 400 gr. of berberine and felt very bad (nausea and pain in the stomach). Maybe because I’m taking Armour Tyroid (90 mg/day) ? I tried 2 x with the same result so unfortunately I had to give it up.

    • Hi Sabrina,

      It probably depends on what type of berberine you used. Berberine has antibiotic properties and can be formulated to specifically help with the overgrowth syndromes.

    • Hello, I only take 200 mg of Thorne Berberine and it’s done wonders! I’m losing weight (15 lbs so far) and feel great. Have thyroid issues also and could not lose weight. Am also walking 1 to 2 miles five to seven times a week. Could not take higher dose Berberine due to stomach issues.

  8. Hello I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic tried Metformin and got the dreadful *D. Just got Ingetrative Therapeutics Berberine metabolic syndrome. My one concern is that berberine is known to lower blood pressure, which I don’t need. So does it drop blood pressure even if you don’t need it? I planning on taking just 1 500 mg, every other day – just to make sure I can handle it and hoping that it will help lower my blood sugar as to that’s what I actually need.
    Anyone also concerned with the fact that it kills off bacteria? I plan on doubling up probiotics for that.
    Any help or guidance is much appreciated.
    thanks so much and i enjoy reading your website.

    • Hi JRS,

      Each person is slightly different so you will have to see how you respond to the supplement. The killing off of the bacteria is generally not considered a big problem as most people have an overgrowth of bacteria in their small intestines. You have to consider that anyone with diabetes has a higher risk of death from stroke and heart attack and that this increase is real, so anything you do to lower your blood sugar and insulin resistance should be considered in the back drop of this increase in mortality.

  9. Dr. Westin,

    I ended up here when I saw in a description about Berberine on another site that it might attenuate weight gain when used with anti-depressants, though more studies are needed. I began looking for the existing studies but with no luck.

    I’ve used a very low dose of mirtazapine, and I am working to get off the drug, but since my brain is accustomed to using it for sleep, it’s a fight. What else is also a fight is the weight gain associated with using the drug, which is the typical story for most who use it. I wonder if berberine can help, considering all the possible theories of why mirtazapine causes excessive and rapid weight gain.

    I’m fairly athletic and active most days with a healthy diet for the most part. So, I’ve already taken care of the typical advice. =-)

    I’d love to hear your thoughts (if even in a future post, which I’m sure would benefit other mirtazapine users).


  10. I was put on Berberine 500 mg to take once a day. I have slowly gained weight over the years. I am a celiac. I am on a no grain,no dairy no sugar diet for several years. I do cheat with the sugar once in awhile. I was on a dr approved diet with B12 shots and appetite suppresants to lose weight for 3 months. Between actually gaining weight then losing then gaining in the 3 mths, I did lose 6 pounds. I don’t consider that a success. Looks like the berberine might not be enough. I also read to not take it more that a few weeks. Love your opinion. I was also told I have lipedema. probably stage 1 – 2 I am 65 female

  11. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I saw a lot of posts that warned not to take berberine for longer than 3 months – but can I take it forever? It really helps my mood and acne! I take about 1000 mg a day and really want to take it everyday forever.

    • Hi Evan,

      Length of dosing should be assessed on an individual basis because it will work differently in each person. I don’t know that I would recommend indefinite use, but prolonged use as long as you are getting significant benefit may be worthwhile.

  12. I just started taking it. Do you get sny benefit with only 1000 mg a day. ?

    I already lost 10 lbs before taking it.

    I am taking it specifically for colestrol, sugar cravings , and i like the AMPK benefit which sounds good. But not sure what that is exactly.

  13. Hi Dr Child’s,

    I am in menopause and I have menopausal weight gain despite eating a healthy diet and running. There is nothing I have tried that seems to help with weight loss. I am healthy and do not have diabetes or hypertension. My issues are all hormonal. I am excited about trying Berberine along with the other supplements that you recommend, ALA, Glucomannan, Magnesium Citrate, and probiotics. I hope to finally get my hormones balanced. Please let me know if there are any other recommendations you might have.


  14. Hi Dr. Childs, I’ve been reading about Berberine for a while now and have been taking from 1,000-1,500 mg daily and having moderate success in lowering my insulin-resistance BG levels. I used a different search engine last night and discovered your blog, I’m now going to increase the product I’ve been taking to 1,500-2,000 mg daily, thanks to your helpful info. Question: I’m using a product that also contains Banaba Leaf Extract (24 mg). Any comments on Banaba Leaf Extract? Thanks.

  15. Hello Dr. Childs,
    I’m a bit confused about the doses. In this article you recommend taking 1000-2000 mg of Berberine for weight loss. In an article on ALA you recommend taking 1800 mg of ALA. However, the product you sell has 500 mg of Berberine and 250 mg of ALA per serving. I have a lot of weight to lose so I was wondering if it is really enough to take that dose if I take both Berberine and ALA?

    • Hi Rinat,

      If you combine berberine with ALA you don’t need high doses of each. 1,000mg of Berberine with 500mg of ALA combined is superior to either alone at higher dosages.

  16. Thank you very much for your reply. I will order the prodcut and try it. I find your blog very helpful. I’m also taking Saxenda so I hope that with the supplements,better nutrition and excercise I will be able to lose the excess weight.

    • Hi Rinat,

      It sounds like you are definitely heading on the right track! Saxenda is a great medication but you absolutely should combine it with diet, exercise and supplements for the best possible results (it also helps you keep off the weight you lose).

  17. I’ve read that Berberine can increase certain medications in the blood stream which can be harmful to liver like blood pressure and hiv medications, thoughts?

    • Hi Craig,

      Medications and supplements may compete for metabolism by certain enzymes in the liver. So taking certain foods, supplements or medications may delay metabolism of other things (like drugs) thereby increasing the “dose” that you are taking. This usually doesn’t happen to any meaningful degree in most cases but certain medications/supplements do this more than others. You would really have to look at your drug/supplement combo on a case by case basis to be sure.

  18. I found your post through some research on berberine. A local supplements store is recommending 1St Phorm’s Glucose Disposal Agent to customers, and I was curious about the key ingredient. Beyond looking for usage and effects, I also was curious about dosage to be effective, as they do not have a real recommendation there. Thanks for your post.

  19. Hi Dr.Childs,

    I read your webside about Berberine for lose weight, thank you for information. Can you send to me more information of that? Thank you.

  20. I took Berbinex 3 for 2 months at 2 servings, twice Dailey. Lost 10 pounds. Didn’t have labs during that time though. I did have diarrhea and burping all the time which is bothersome. I stopped taking it. Started taking Living Well’s Heal-n-Soothe and Ultra Omega Burn distributed by Nutra Active. No diarrhea or gas and no noticeable results. Am concerned about frequent diarrhea.

  21. When I click on your recommend Berberine supplement it comes up blank or “not found” can you please tell me the brand you recommend? Does the brand you recommend have a P-Glycprotein inhibititor in it for better absorption?

    • Hi Susan,

      Our current product is out of stock and being reformulated so it won’t be back in stock for some time. Sorry about that!

  22. How long does it take to lower blood sugar? My fasting blood sugars have crept up to 120 over the years and I started taking 1500 mg of berberine per day split into 3 doses, but so far it hasn’t done anything. I’ve been taking it for 3 weeks. How long should I wait before considering metformin?

  23. Hey Doctor Childs 🙂

    I am from Switzerland, 63, and started to have light diabetes about 2 years ago. My Doc gave me 2 x 500 mg Metformin a day. After 3 months, my glucose level was just a bit lower but there were 3 months of permanent very liquid diarrhea (3-4 times a day) and stomach cramps every night. Here in Switzerland, Doctors don’t know what berberine is (to be a little sarcastic, I’d say they barely know what vitamin K2 is), so since I am reading a lot about orthomolecular medicines and products, I heard about berberine and ordered it in the United States. So I started to take 3 x 500 mg a day and 2 weeks later already, my blood sugar started to drop and I started to lose weight after 2 months (from 227 lbs to 207 lbs). I also take 600 mg ALA per day. And 6 months after taking berberine, I went to my Doc again for blood test and my HBA1C was 5.6% (6.4% 6 months earlier with Metformin). So my HBA1C is good, my postprandial is good, but my fasting blood sugar is still high in the morning at wake up. My Doc says that it goes down when I start moving and walking but he’s wrong. It goes down when I eat (of course not If I eat refined processed white rice alone). So after breakfast, my blood sugar drops after eating my eggs, cheese and vegetables. BTW, my Doc doesn’t know I am taking berberine. He thinks I am taking my Metformin religiously. There’s is also something else regarding my diabetes. I have been taking for 15 years now the beta blocker bisoprolol at a dose of 5 mg/day but went down to 2.5 mg/day since a year now. I had episodes of high tachycardia 15 years ago that didn’t come from heart problems but from nervous, anxiety and the autonomic nervous system troubles and I got those beta blockers to relax my autonomic nervous system. But I read that beta blockers, even the cardio-selective one like bisoprolol will with time eventually induce a diabetes because they are blocking a bit also the pancreatic beta cells that produce the insulin. So my lonely concern is how I can drop my fasting blood sugar levels (I am happy with all the other numbers). I am currently taking 2 x 1000 mg of berberine. Should I try to take 500 mg Metformin at bed time ? I tried corosolic acid, cinnamon, Gymnema Sylvestre, Nopal cactus, vanadium, but nothing works ! My Cardio told me I could stop my beta blocker because I don’t take it for life threatening reasons but for a comfortable tachycardialess life 🙂 and he says he’s not sure I’d still have my tachycardias crisis today.

    • Quite a bit after your post. Just in case you check in. I have the same issue and my endocrinologist referred to this as hyperinsulinemia. He’s having me control via diet and exercise. I’ve found my morning fasting is good when I exercise at night vs. in the morning. If no evening exercise morning fasting is high again. I have a 5.5% A1C because I was getting hypo without eating regularly or too many carbs at once. Now eating as if I have Type 2 Diabetes. Trying Berberine as well. Too early to tell.

  24. I have tried several times to take berberine but I kept having the worst leg cramps in the middle of night. So I got off. My A1C went from 8.5 to 6.0. I had extremely good results – but how do I take berberine without having leg cramps. I took magnesium every night before going to bed, but it did not help. Please give me some advice – I really want to start taking it again (successfully). Does exercise help in any way? Your help is greatly appreciated.

  25. Dr Westin , I am postmenopausal & I can’t seem to get the excess weight I gained with menopause off -have tried a lot of different things. (I guessed my hormones are unbalanced)
    In your expert opinion What would you suggest ???


    ( I have ordered the berberine)


    I am on the high carb low fat diet since September. 10% fat. I dropped my A1c by more than 4 full points. I’ve dropped 3 sizes. You can read about it on the Facebook site called high carb fat loss. This is the answer to my dreams. I’m postmenopausal. I’m type 2 diabetic. This diet will eventually reverse my diabetes. This is the first diet I can stick to for life. The best part is that I go off the diet on the weekends. I do zero exercise. But I need to start walking daily. It’s not healthy to not at least walk everyday for a half hour. I’m on zero diabetic medication and take no diabetic supplements. I have in the past but I didn’t see any effects that it was helping. I quit the supplements and exercise to see if the diet alone could cause me to lose weight and lower my A1c.

  27. I read in many places that you need to take a break at some time from taking Berberine. How long should you be on it and how long should you take a break from taking it? Thank you

  28. Does berberine interfere with desiccated thyroid medicine ? Can we take both at the same time in the morning ? If not, how far apart from each other do they need to be taken ? Thank you.

    • Hi Sara,

      In general, you never want to take supplements at the same time as your thyroid medication. Waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours may be necessary depending on how well you absorb the medication and which type of supplement you are using. Berberine should not interfere as much as other supplements.

  29. Dr. Childs,

    Do you recommend taking Berberine with food or on an empty stomach? If the answer is with food, are the beneficial effects of Berberine negated if you take it on an empty stomach? I would need to take four doses (of 500 mg) in order to get the recommended 2,000 mg, but I only eat two meals a day while intermittent fasting. And I’ve read that taking more than 500 mg at a time isn’t good because the doses need to be spaced out. Just wondering if I am wasting the Berberine when I take it without food.

  30. Hi, I’m interested in using berberine to rebalance gut flora. Should I stop taking probiotics and drinking homemade kefir? I’m thinking it would make sense to kill off the bad bacteria first and then repopulate with the good through probiotics/kefir.

  31. The link to your recommended berberine does not work.

    What brand and/or which Berberine do you recommend…so many to choose from.

    Thank you

  32. I am taking Berberine along with amlodipine/berberine at night and garlic in the morning for blood pressure. It has lowered my blood pressure but I haven’t finished my first bottle and just got a nosebleed. It has so many benefits I would like to be able to keep taking it. When I get nosebleeds from natural supplements they are severe. I’m hoping there is a way to resolve this.

    • If you search online you’ll see that there are many people who cannot take garlic supplements because of nosebleeds. I’m one of those people! Since Berberine is supposed to help lower blood pressure perhaps you could experiment by dropping the garlic.

  33. Hello Dr. Childs,
    I have been taking Berberine for a couple of months and have had good success with weight loss. However, I have started to feel like I am having heart palpitations or jittery feelings but mostly fluttery feelings in my chest. I stopped taking it but would love to continue to get benefits. Do you think these could be stomach related feelings and not chest/heart? It only happens when I take the Berberine and am in otherwise good health and take no other medications. Thank you! Leigh

  34. I am beginning to take Berberine and ordered Meratrim also. Is it ok to take these together? I haven’t seen any interaction information regarding taking them together each day. I also take Losartan for blood pressure but didn’t see anything regarding the interaction of either of the supplements with Losartan. Thank you very much for your help – wish I were your patient!

  35. Hi Dr.Childs,

    I recently started taking myoinositol, and wondered if I could combine berberine with it? I have PCOS, insulin resistance and Hashimoto’s.

    Thank you!

  36. Hello, Dr. Childs thank you so much for posting this article it was a very good read for me. What are your thoughts on taking Berberine with 5 HTP for fat loss? I also want to mention I do OMAD (intermittent fasting daily) my weight is down in a very normal range but I’m fighting with body fat. Not to mention hormones from being 47 years old going through menopause. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

  37. 9 days of taking 1000-1500 per day. Head seems euphoric and a sense of anxiety or energy. Wondering how people’s cognition is? Mine is a bit foggy.

  38. A very interesting article and I was prompted here with keywords berberine and weight loss. I am 70 and both my parents had type 2 diabetes. 5 years ago a fasting blood test result showed 5.7 mmol and also my blood pressure was prehypertension 135/75. So I decided to keep an eye on these myself so bought a meter for blood sugar and pressure meter and check it every month. It has stayed consistent until just recently. I decided I needed to lose some weight (belly fat) so 15 months ago I bought an exercise cycle and started counting calories. I do not take any form of pharmaceutical meds but do take flaxseed and magnesium glycinate. I then read about berberine and decided to try it. After 4 weeks of just one x 500mg a day, my BP had fallen to 125/70 and my blood sugar was
    5.0mmol. A month later BP was 115/68 and sugar the same. So as an experiment I stopped for a month and both went back up to the originals. Now just 2 weeks later all back to normal. Also, my weight loss has been more dramatic since June than in the year before. The other noticeable effect is that my IBS has gone away. So I am well pleased with the results.

  39. Is it common for your body to feel like you have a rev up feeling. Will this gradually go away or lessen the longer you take Berberine? Or maybe I should start lower and gradually increase. Thank you

  40. Nearly 3 weeks ago I started taking:
    1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil with sea salt
    2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar with Cheyenne pepper sprinkled on top & mixed with water …..both every morning
    500 Mg Berberine
    1000 Mg Omega 3 …. with each meal (so 2 or 3 times daily)

    Within a week, I started feeling more balanced, not starving between meals. In 20 days, I am down 3 pounds!

    Obviously, I can monitor my weight, but is there anything else I can monitor to see if this is reversing my issues?
    I am hoping that this isn’t a new daily supplement for life. That isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I would love healing!

  41. Found your information very helpful! My question to you is Im on insulin as well as Jardiance. Noting seems to help much to lower my sugar levels. What do you recommend in dose of berberine!? Its all so frustrating to help with my sugar level and food intake! Any advice is very appreciated.

    • Hi Anita,

      You will find it difficult to lower your blood sugar while taking insulin because insulin causes further insulin resistance. Assuming you have some beta cell function in your pancreas (you didn’t specify which type of diabetes you have), your goal should be to get off of insulin as fast as possible using whatever therapies are available. Your dose for berberine would be the highest.

  42. Hi Dr Childs
    So my wonderful functional Dr informed me I was insulin resistant from bloodwork results.
    So I follow your article and decided to put myself on Berberine.
    I’m also on Synthroid and Liothyrinine which work beautifully for me.
    Started Berberine 500, 3 x day with each meal. Definitely suppressed my appetite and no snacking In between.
    However after a few days I was finding myself feeling really cold all the time. My hands and body are warm but internally I’m just cold.
    Have bought Berberine 200 and I’m going to start that to see if it makes a difference with feeling cold.
    I really just wanted your thoughts on this. Berberine is the only new supplement I’ve added.
    As I read it increases your body temp/metabolic rate.
    What is causing the coldness, I really want to keep up with Berberine as it’s really helping me not crave sweet food.
    Many thanks

    • I read a comment of a Chinese doctor saying he advises to takeBerberine with something warming like ginger tea because of the cooling properties of Berberine conform Chinese medicine

  43. I’m euthyroid but Dxed with Hashimotos because of autoantibodies, nodules and severe hypothyroid symptoms. My endocrinologist is slowly titrating me up on levothyroxine. I’m not over weight, but notice that I am gaining belly fat and am more hungry since starting therapy. I’m menopausal, have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and my major problem is severe fatigue. I also don’t sleep well because of night sweats and cannot take estrogen because of (only surgically treated) DCIS.

    I know you cannot fully recommend any treatment with just a few sentence description, but will supplementing with berberine possibly help me? Especially with the fatigue? Is there anything else which might help?

      • Hi Dr. Childs,
        Thank you for your quick response to my question. I just received both the Thyroid Adrenal Reset Complex and A.R.C. II today. I was happy that the Adrenal Reset arrived even though I live in California. I won’t tell.

        I will immediately start taking them and will follow up with a report in a month or so. Have also begun eating a sheet of Nori with breakfast. Maybe the minerals in it (iodine) will also help.

        Thank you for your advice and all the great blogs you post. I trust what you have to say more than a lot of other stuff I read on-line!

        • Hi Nancy,

          Please do keep me updated! I’m glad that you find the info helpful 🙂

          Keep in mind that it can take up to 4-6 weeks for some people to notice a difference when the adrenals and thyroid are involved.

          • Hi Dr. Childs,

            Never mind the 4-6 weeks (probably necessary for maximum response), but after only one dose I had very vivid dreams both during my nap and my nighttime sleep! And I remembered them!

            Some people may be bothered by an effect like this, but I’m elated because I am very interested in what dreams can show us about our lives. I have been attempting to chronicle my dreams for a number of years–but remembering almost nothing–so this is a secondary good effect!

            I also am feeling more energized than usual and want to credit your supplements, but my friend also did some Reiki on me as well. So, maybe both? The mind has a profound effect on health, but then again, maybe your supplements do too! Thanks!

            I referred some of my Hashi friends to your site! Thanks again. I’ll report back more later.

  44. I found berberine while searching for an alternative to metformin after struggling to keep my A1C under control. In three months, taking 1500 mg per day, I lowered my A1C from 7.7 to 6.1. I also take alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy, have a strict low carb diet, and I walk 3-4 miles every other day. My last two labs have indicated my A1C is 5.8. I’ve also had total cholesterol under 100 (seriously; I also take 40 mg atorvastatin) and keep my weight around 164 after many years around 190 (I’m 5’11”). I had a heart attack and three stents in 2016 and can honestly say I feel better than I have in years. I’ll be 68 in April. It’s not all because of berberine, but the lower blood sugar numbers are probably due to berberine, and it has kept me off metformin with its side effects. I’ve had no issues with berberine but I do need to watch out for low blood sugar sometimes!

  45. Hello Dr! :

    I am also wondering if this supppement can be taken on an empty stomach in the morning when I don’t eat. Some days I do intermittent fasting.
    For example, can Berberine be taken 9am and 1pm on days where I may not eat until 5pm? Any information or advice you have for dosing on an empty stomach is so greatly appreciated!:)
    If I am eating 3 meals, how many minutes before eating my meals should I take Berberine?
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  46. I’ve been taking berberine off and on for about a year. I like it and I came down from pre diabetes and I think it’s because of it. However, I’ve been taking it at lower doses than what you mention here. My BP runs low at times (around 100/77) and because of a temporary injury sometimes my vertebrae sort of crushes my vagus nerve and it causes my heart rate to drop briefly.

    So, I’m nervous to lower my overall heart rate and BP by taking more Berberine. However, lately I notice my inflammation and weight gain is returning after I fell off thyroid medication and berberine and even before I was barely eating so I’m kind of desperate.

    I guess my point is that the article doesn’t mention how Berberine could be dangerous in that it could lower BP and HR too much?? And I’m wondering at what dosages that might be.

  47. HI, thank you so much for all the info.
    Ive started taking Berberine for 15 days, 1000 mg and then increased to 1500. It´s been a month and no changes except diahrrea kicked in when i increased the dose. What to do? I feel this is not working for me and if i lower the dose to stop the side effects i even have less hope. Any thoughts? Thanks a lot in advance.

  48. Hi Dr. Childs,
    Several of my family members were recently found to have insulin resistance. Just like them, I have a tendency to accumulate excess fat around my stomach and I have a hard time losing weight. My family members live in Europe, they were tested specifically for insulin resistance, and were put on Saxenda. I live in the US; I spoke to my primary care physician and was told that there is no testing for insulin resistance here. I wanted to try berberine before I go on a mission to find doctors that might be able to help me determine whether or not I’m also insulin resistant. I’ve been taking probiotics for several weeks and have seen my stomach area shrink (not the fat, just the bloated appearance). Due to berberine’s antibiotic properties, should I just stop taking the probiotics if I start using berberine? Or is there a way to take both?

  49. Hi Dr. Childs, Is berberine okay if someone who tends to have lower blood pressure? Thanks for your time and your videos & blogs are the most informative!

  50. I have hypothyroidism and Hashimotos. Recently read I should not build up immune too much if have Hashimoto. Is Berberine safe for me and would it help my constipation ? Thanks

    • Hi Rosemary,

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by “not build up immune too much” but berberine is definitely safe to take if you have Hashimoto’s. It has the potential to help your gut but I wouldn’t count on it helping or fixing your constipation.

  51. Hi Dr Childs,
    I am taking Glucomannan before meals and am about to start taking Berberine. I am pleased to see your advice that they work well together. I have read that Glucomman should not be taken at the same time as medications as it may reduce absorption of the medications. Do you have any advice as to how to take Glucomannan and Berberine so both have the optimum effect?
    Regards Susan

    • Hi Susan,

      As long as you take them at least 1 hour away from each other you are good to go! It doesn’t really matter what time of day that you take them, just that they are taken apart.

  52. I am diabetic and was put on Berberine, 2k mg per day. In 6 months I lost 40 lbs and gained 8 lbs of muscle. I was actually scared something was wrong with me because I lost weight without changing my diet. Adding Berberine was the only thing I did.
    After researching and finding articles like this one, I know Berberine was improving my metabolism!
    I am shocked at how easy it was!!!

    • Hi Functional Neurotic,

      Yes, it’s still beneficial because it has other benefits outside of its impact on insulin/blood sugar. I’ve never seen it cause hypoglycemia in any patient ever. Not to say that it can’t but I’ve never seen it and my own supplement has been used on thousands and thousands of people.

  53. How long to see results with weightloss if you have been taking 2,000 mgs. of berberine a day for 2 weeks eating healthyfully, and exercizing?

    • Hi Hilly,

      Most people see results in about 4-6 weeks but it can take up to 8 weeks in some cases. It really depends on the person and their hormones and which supplement(s) they are using.

  54. In 2016 i had been dx with Insulin resistance by a functional medicine provider and had no idea I was insulin resistance because my Insulin was 18 within normal limits but the provider told my insulin needs to be less than 5. I have follow the functional medicine RD have got it down to 10 and I also Had leaking gut and Hashistmotis and then couple year later ending up in the hospital and had a seizure and low sodium and found out had papiary thyroid cancer and had my thyroid remove and been riding my bike around 1800 miles and struggle to get my insulin and after readying your article and started taking berberine and along with many other supplements and drop few pound and I am interesting to see what my numbers are with my blood test as I take berberine and thank you for sharing and looking to get on my bike again this year 2022 and as i try to heal my broken metabolism and heal my insulin resistance.

  55. Can you take ALA, magnesium citrate and berberine all at the same time? Can you take them in the evening (when I break my intermittent fasting)?
    What about adding glucomannan to that as well?

    • Hi Brenda,

      Yes, they can all be taken together but your individual mileage may vary. You just want to be sure you don’t take any supplements with calories, sugars, or sweeteners during your fast.

  56. I began using 600 mg twice a day and already slowly dropping the pounds. I was shocked. Been using Berberine for a month. About to raise the dose to 600 three times a day. First thing that has worked and it cuts my food cravings. Love this…using it with inositol and chasteberry.

    • Hi Sarsh,

      I’m unaware of any potential interactions between those two but if there’s any concern you’ll always want to check with your prescribing doctor to make sure it’s ok in your specific case.

  57. Hi, I’ve started taking dandelion root for my blood suger and general health. Now have purchased berberine hcl for my blood sugar issues as well. Should I combine them and take at the same time?

    • Hi Garnett,

      It’s probably not a big deal to use them together but I can speak to specific brands and how they may or may not interact with your other supplements. I know mine doesn’t cause any issues but that’s because I have more experience using it with other combinations of supplements.

    • Hi Charlotte,

      Most people take it in the morning because it can help suppress appetite throughout the day but it can pretty much be taken at any time.

    • Hi Gabbi,

      Yes, my Berberine 500+ supplement comes in capsules that can be broken apart and mixed into liquids or other substances like apple sauce.

  58. Hi! Can all of the supplements listed above (Berberine, Glucomannan, and magnesium citrate) be taken together at the same time of day?


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