Diabetes: Supplement that could control blood sugar – ‘as effective’ as prescription drugs

This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert

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You can either have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Both result in the level of sugar – or glucose – in your blood becoming too high. For type 1 patients this happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.

Whereas type 2 diabetes is much more common and the raised blood sugar levels are usually caused by being overweight or not exercising enough.

One expert explained how a certain ingredient can have a “powerful” effect on blood sugar levels.

Speaking with Express.co.uk, pharmaceutical scientist Kai Islam – from Super Botanic – recommended taking berberine supplements.

He said: “Berberine is a bioactive compound found in various plants, such as phellodendron amurense (Amur cork tree), hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal), and several shrubs from the berberis genus.


“It has a long history in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine due to its unique health benefits including its powerful blood sugar lowering effects

“There are many studies to show that Berberine is effective at treating diabetes.

“The main way it does this is by reducing blood sugar.

“It is sometimes called an ‘insulin sensitiser’ because it reduces insulin resistance.”

He advised two to three doses of berberine a day.

“Metformin and rosiglitazone are two common pharmaceutical drugs used to help regulate blood sugar in individuals with diabetes,” he added.

“Taking 500mg of berberine two to three times per day has been shown to be as effective as both of these two prescription drugs.”

Berberine can be found in tablet, powder or liquid form and can be found in many wellbeing shops and online stores.

According to Diabetes.co.uk, “normal” blood sugar levels are between 4.0 to 5.4 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) when fasting.

And up to 7.8 mmol/L two hours after eating.

For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are four to seven mmol/L before eating.

And they should be under nine mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes, and under 8.5 mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes after eating.

There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, including if you:

  • Are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
  • Have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin.

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