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What is Berberine?

With obesity on the rise and the desire for thinness right along side it, it's no wonder that consumers continue to scour the internet for the next quick fix or magic weight loss bullet. Dieting and exercising to lose weight can be tricky, complicated, and for some, ostensibly impossible. Finding an effective way to shed those extra pounds is a priority for many. Ozempic, aka "the skinny shot," has taken the diet industry by storm captivating the minds of many who are feeling frustrated with their body and believe body fat reduction is the answer.  Unfortunately, this medication is not always covered by insurance, comes with a hefty price tag and can result in uncomfortable side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. So what do we do? Find another, cheaper and potentially "safer" alternative?

In comes the latest TikTok trend, "nature's Ozempic," otherwise known as Berberine.

What is Berberine? Berberine is a bioactive compound found in various plants, such as the roots of the Chinese herb Coptis chinensis and the bark of the Indian medicinal plant Berberis aristata. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices, particularly in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and metabolic benefits.

Although there is some research showing that Berberine can produce modest weight loss results (~5% body fat reduction), there is not enough evidence to truly support its efficacy.

Further, Berberine can also have side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (much like Ozempic).

The positive is that it is a fraction of the cost, ringing up at $10-$40 per bottle depending on the brand, and can be purchased over the counter. Further, although Berberine is not nearly as effective as Ozempic for weight loss, there can be some other benefits such as lowering blood glucose levels, improving gut health and fighting inflammation.

Always keep in mind that supplements are not regulated by the FDA and there can be interactions with certain medications. It's imperative to talk to a dietitian and doctor before starting any new supplements.

Visit our homepage www.virtualnutritionexperts.com to get matched with a dietitian who takes your insurance and can discuss supplement options. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our nurse practitioners to discuss a prescription for Ozempic and if it's right for you.

Virtual Nutrition Experts, 2024
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