Optimal Health Guide

Optimal Health Guide

to Berberine

to Berberine

For the most part, our health is really determined by the four basic categories of health. What are those 4 areas we need to pay attention to?


  1. Mind state or mental attitude you may want to call it. It’s the power of the mind in conjunction with all the autonomic functions that are controlled by automated systems that originate out of the subconscious mind and nervous system. When I say mind, it is not just your brain or head space. The mind is contained in all cells of the entire body. The mind is all of you. Every cell in your body has memory. It knows its function and the purpose for which it exists. This is important. If you can align your consciousness with the memory or mind state of all your cells then you will be in more control of outcomes. Talk about taking control!
  2. Let’s examine exercise or movement. The most important system in the body in charge of detoxing and flushing out the toxins and metabolites produced in the cells, the waste material is called the lymph. The lymph system is between your gut and your vasculature. Just behind the endothelial lining. Here the fluid is moved not by a pump but by a system of hydraulics which is dependent on movement. Do you go for a walk every day? Do you exercise for even just a few minutes early in the day? It’s a good idea to jump start your system with even just five minutes of movement. Standing jacks, rebounder, brisk walk, any of these can make a difference in just a few minutes.
  3. The nutrition you imbibe, how much and when is also part of the holistic approach to wellbeing. It’s a big subject but you know there is plenty of overconsumption of the wrong kinds of foods in our society. Can you cut back on how much you eat, can you cut back on how many times in a day you eat? Longevity depends on a certain rhythm and fasting some of the time is very important.
  4. Last but not least, sleep and quality of sleep is much more important that you might think. Again, it’s a broad subject but suffice it to say that it’s vital to your health and overall wellbeing. Deep sleep and lowering your heart rate at night, learning how to calm down and establishing rituals for deep sleep are much more important than you might imagine. 
“Sleep is an altered state of consciousness where we have limited interactions with our surroundings and are relatively quiet and still (depending on the stage of sleep). Contrary to our quiet physical state, the brain is very active during sleep, carrying out many important functions. Sleep is essential to every process in the body, affecting our physical and mental functioning the next day, our ability to fight disease and develop immunity, and our metabolism and chronic disease risk. Sleep is truly interdisciplinary because it touches every aspect of health.” School of Public Health, University of Michigan
The bottom line here is that even though we describe these 4 systems separately, we are one entity and all things are connected. This is the principle of holism and let’s not be dissuaded into a reductionist philosophy about our health. The shoulder doctor won’t talk about the neck, but it’s obvious that one affects the other. The gut affects the brain and the emotions of the heart at the same time. So in reading the next section, be advised that the basis of our health must be observed even when talking about “blood sugar” or cholesterol. I know it’s not how we usually operate but once you begin, it becomes easier to navigate. 


Why Berberine Fills in So Many Gaps in Nutrition

There are a handful of compounds that can make a difference in health outcomes. You’ve certainly heard about vitamins, I am sure. I talk a lot about Omega-3 and Vitamin D3. Berberine is in a class by itself as it covers the territory of bettering insulin resistance, cholesterol balancing, stress reduction and it is helpful for better sleep. It promotes better urinary tract health, has been studied for defeating Alzheimer’s disease and there are studies that show anti aging benefits and possible cancer prevention benefits. 


Berberine is a compound found in a variety of plants, including goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape. It has a wide range of applications and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Today, berberine is commonly used as a dietary supplement, and it is thought to offer a number of health benefits. For example, berberine has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, much like the pharmaceutical drug metformin.  


Although berberine and metformin are both effective treatments for diabetes, they work in different ways. Berberine is an herbal extract that helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. Metformin, on the other hand, works by inhibiting the production of glucose in the liver. While both berberine and metformin are effective diabetes treatments, they each have unique mechanisms of action. As a result, they may be used together to provide greater blood sugar control. In other words, there are no contraindications for using both if you are already using the prescription medication. Your doctor will be able to lower the prescription dose as appropriate, if you are checking your blood sugar levels and A1C levels at regular intervals. 


Additionally, berberine has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. Some studies have also suggested that berberine may help boost weight loss. The key here is to not eat compulsively but be in tune with your actual caloric needs as you go through your day.  Additionally, the compound has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it useful for treating a variety of conditions. Overall, berberine appears to be a safe and effective supplement with a wide range of potential health benefits.


Metformin and berberine are known to be used as anti aging agents. Why is this? Metformin has also been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies, and there is some evidence that it may have similar effects in humans. Berberine is a plant alkaloid that has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties. It has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits, including improving blood sugar control, lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing inflammation. In addition, berberine has also been shown to extend lifespan in various animal studies. Therefore, the use of metformin and berberine as anti aging agents may be due to their ability to improve various aspects of health and delay the onset of age-related diseases.


This is from the NIH:



Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid extracted from various Berberis species which is widely used in East Asia for a wide range of symptoms. Recently, neuroprotective effects of berberine in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) animal models are being extensively reported. So far, no clinical trial has been carried out on the neuroprotective effects of berberine. However, a review of the experimental data is needed before choosing berberine as a candidate drug for clinical experiments. We conducted a systematic review on AD rodent models to analyze the drug effects with minimal selection bias.




Five online literature databases were searched to find publications reporting studies of the effect of berberine treatment on animal models of AD. Up to March 2018, 15 papers were identified to describe the efficacy of berberine.




The included 15 articles met our inclusion criteria with different quality ranging from 3 to 5. We analyzed data extracted from full texts with regard to pharmacological effects and potential anti-Alzheimer’s properties. Our analysis revealed that in multiple memory defects animal models, berberine showed significant memory-improving activities with multiple mechanisms, such as anti-inflammation, anti-oxidative stress, cholinesterase (ChE) inhibition and anti-amyloid effects.




Alzheimer’s Disease is likely to be a complex disease driven by multiple factors. Yet, many therapeutic strategies based on lowering β-amyloid have failed in clinical trials. This suggests that the therapy should not base on a single cause of Alzheimer’s disease but rather a number of different pathways that lead to the disease. Overall we think that berberine can be a promising multipotent agent to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Optimal Health Guide to Berberine

Full Text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6533761/


Be Skeptical But Don’t Be Ignorant! 

The text below shows promising benefits in neuropathy, cancer and even in urinary tract infections. You are welcome to be skeptical. I encourage it. But when it comes to alternative means of preventing illness, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Your family physician does not study herbals and beneficial properties of non prescription remedies. If they say 

“Don’t use this or that supplement.” They may not really know about the research and the clinical studies since their field of study only looks at pharmaceuticals. The field of medicine in which doctors do know about alternatives to pharmaceuticals are either integrative practice physicians, functional medicine doctors or naturopaths.  Standard care physicians work within the parameters of pharmaceutical drugs and insurance companies. It’s a long distance from allopathic medicine to wellness and preventative care. Generally, the journey either begins with a knowingness that you may not like the pharmaceutical way or you’ve tried what Western medicine has to offer but you’re not getting sufficient answers and relief to your injuries. It’s not an either or. You can have doctors in both worlds and find some middle ground. Certainly western medicine physicians are really talented and experts at acute care. More natural means of treating are looking at prevention and giving the body time to heal. The healing really occurs within our own bodies. 


The following article recites findings when berberine is put to clinical study. Enjoy it. 

Optimal Health Guide to Berberine



If you have any questions about using berberine in your regimen, please contact me here:

Meeting With Garey Simmons


Best in health, 
Garey Simmons