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Dr. Berne's Whole Health Support

Dr. Berne's Whole Health Berberine Formula


Dr. Berne’s Whole Health Berberine Formula supplies berberine combined with alpha lipoic acid to help support optimal blood sugar and insulin metabolism, cardiovascular health, and liver health. Berberine is an alkaloid compound found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark of several plants commonly used in botanical and Chinese medicine, such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry, and Berberis aristata. Lipoic acid is best known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to support healthy insulin metabolism and sensitivity. It is also a key cofactor for mitochondrial enzymes involved in cellular metabolism and energy (ATP) production.

Dr. Berne’s Whole Health Berberine Formula supplies high potency berberine combined with alpha lipoic acid to help support optimal blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as cardiovascular and liver health.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity, stress management and good sleep quality and quantity all play a role in proper blood sugar regulation and maintaining healthy insulin levels. But even when people put effort toward optimizing their diet and lifestyle, targeted supplementation can be helpful for augmenting these important health factors.

Berberine may help support:

  • Healthy blood glucose levels
  • Normal insulin signaling
  • Healthy liver function

Recommended Use: As a dietary supplement, take one capsule per day with a meal, or as directed by your health care practitioner.

Note: Work with your physician to monitor your blood glucose levels, as medication for blood sugar regulation may require adjustment to account for the effects of berberine.


    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


    Berberine is a compound found in the roots, rhizomes, stems and bark of several plants commonly used in botanical and Chinese medicine, such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry, and Berberis aristata (from which its name is derived). It has become increasingly popular as people seek natural compounds that may aid in maintaining healthy blood glucose and insulin levels, without some of the adverse side-effects of pharmaceutical medications commonly used for this purpose.

    Berberine helps promote healthy blood glucose levels and sensitivity to insulin through multiple mechanisms. One way berberine may aid in healthy glucose regulation is by limiting the activity of enzymes that digest carbohydrates in the small intestine, thus resulting in less glucose being absorbed into the bloodstream after meals.

    Alpha Lipoic Acid

    Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is best known as an antioxidant. ALA is both water- and fat-soluble, meaning it exerts its antioxidant effects in different types of tissues and different compartments in the body. In addition to its antioxidant effects, ALA supports healthy insulin secretion and sensitivity, in part by facilitating the way cells take up glucose from the blood. ALA is also a key cofactor for enzymes inside the cells’ mitochondria, which is where fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are converted into energy. Thus, ALA helps support a healthy metabolism.

    Recommended Use: As a dietary supplement, take one capsule per day with a meal, or as directed by your health care practitioner.

    Note: Work with your physician to monitor your blood glucose levels, as medication for blood sugar regulation may require adjustment to account for the effects of berberine.

    Berberine may be beneficial for the support of:

    • Diabetes and pre-diabetes
    • Insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia
    • Elevated triglycerides
    • Non-alcoholic fatty liver
    • PCOS linked to elevated insulin

    Berberine SynergyTM combines 400 mg of the plant alkaloid berberine (from Berberis aristata) along with 100 mg of alpha lipoic acid per capsule, in order to help support the management of healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.* As downstream effects of these main actions, berberine may also help improve dyslipidemia, as well as other features of metabolic syndrome.1

    Insulin and Blood Glucose Management

    The most prominent of berberine’s beneficial properties are its positive effects
    on insulin and normal blood glucose management. Berberine exerts its effects independently of the mechanisms of metformin and other common hypoglycemic agents, so the compound may be used alone or in conjunction with conventional pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, berberine has been shown to be as effective as metformin in lowering fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), LDL-C, triglycerides, and fasting insulin.2 When added to the existing medication regimens of patients with poorly controlled diabetes, berberine significantly reduced FBG, HOMA-IR, TNF-alpha, IL-6, and CRP compared with oral hypoglycemic agents alone.3

    In a separate study on type-2 diabetics with dyslipidemia, 1g of berberine supplementation per day for 3 months resulted in favorable changes to fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-C, HbA1c, and blood glucose, as well as an increase in glucose disposal rate.3

    Research supports berberine’s impressive effects on diabetes management and shows that it may be especially effective for diabetic patients with compromised liver function, for whom the potential adverse side-effects of conventional hypoglycemic drugs may not be an option.4 In study subjects with chronic hepatitis, berberine supplementation resulted in decreased enzyme markers for liver damage (ALT and AST), as well as decreased gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in subjects without liver damage.4

    There are multiple mechanisms behind berberine’s influence on blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity.5 In diabetics with damaged pancreatic islet function, berberine's antioxidant promoting activity protected islet cells and promoted insulin secretion. Other mechanisms involved include the upregulation of insulin receptor (InsR) expression via increased InsR mRNA and protein expression via protein kinase C activation, increased GLUT1 expression which stimulated glucose uptake, inhibition of retinol binding protein-4, and promotion of GLP-1 secretion.3 In another study of diabetic and myocardial necrotic induced mice, berberine treatment exhibited significant cardio-protective and anti-diabetic effects by restoring CPK-MB, HbA1c, and blood glucose levels while favorably modulating lipid levels.6

    Another biochemical mechanism behind berberine’s impressive effects is the inhibition of intestinal carbohydrate-digesting enzymes. Diabetic rats supplemented orally with berberine showed significant, dose-dependent decreases in disaccharidase activity and sucrase-isomaltase complex mRNA expression in the intestines. Similar effects were observed in nondiabetic rats, suggesting that berberine may be helpful for pre-diabetic patients, as well as others presenting with indicators of carbohydrate intolerance. Notably, compared to healthy controls, the diabetic rats had up to a 7-fold increase in sucrase activity and a 2.5-fold increase in maltase activity in the small intestine, suggesting that an intervention targeting reduced activity of these enzymes may have impressive effects on postprandial blood glucose levels. Two-hour area under the curve (AUC) for blood glucose levels after sucrose and maltose loading were lower in non-diabetic, berberine treated rats than in untreated controls. Similar findings for berberine’s influence on carbohydrate-digesting enzymes are supported by observations in cultured human cell lines.7

    Beyond these roles in helping to regulate blood glucose and insulin, berberine may also support a healthy metabolism and
    lighten overall body burden by easing oxidative stress and restoring cellular redox efficiency.8 With mitochondrial dysfunction being increasingly tied to a host of poor health outcomes, supporting mitochondrial flexibility may be of particular importance in hyperinsulinism and metabolic syndrome, with their various downstream effects on multiple organs and tissue systems. A study employing cultured mouse macrophages treated with lipopolysaccharides (LPS, a potent endotoxin) or palmitic acid (PA) showed that berberine significantly inhibited pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, COX-2, and LPS- and PA- induced activation of endoplasmic reticulum oxidative stress.9,10,19

    Another animal study found that LPS-induced mice had suppressed cytochrome P450 enzyme activity in the liver and that pretreatment with berberine inhibited inflammatory biomarkers (TNF-a & IL-1B) in the serum, as well as inflammatory marker and iNOS mRNA expression in the liver, and significantly increased bile acid concentration in the liver demonstrating berberine's potent anti-inflammatory actions.10

    Blood Lipids and Liver Health

    Berberine has been shown to exert favorable effects on blood lipids and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Unlike statin drugs, berberine does not affect the complex cholesterol biosynthesis pathway, and therefore does not present the same undesirable side-effects.11

    Berberine upregulates the expression of LDL receptor mRNA and increases liver expression of LDL receptors while downregulating lipogenic enzymes like fatty acid synthase.12,13 Furthermore, berberine reduces triglyceride and total cholesterol levels by modulating adipogenic transcription factor expression.14

    Hyperlipidemic hamsters given berberine for 10 days had significantly reduced levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-C by day 7 demonstrating berberine's ability to promote the excretion of cholesterol from the liver into the bile.15

    A meta-analysis demonstrates berberine's favorable effects on humans with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Those treated with berberine showed significant improvements in AST, ALT, and GGT liver enzyme levels compared to lifestyle interventions and other drugs alone.16 Additionally, berberine alone significantly lowered triglycerides and LDL-C, increased HDL-C levels, and decreased hepatic fat content in NAFLD patients.16,17 In mice fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet, berberine improved hepatic steatosis in vitro by inducing SIRT1-dependent autophagy and suppressing palmitate-induced lipid accumulation.18

    Berberine has also been demonstrated to reduce fibrosis in chemically induced liver damage.19 Because the liver is a key player in glycemic control, compounds that aid in blood sugar handling while simultaneously conferring significant protection to liver function may be powerful tools in the arsenal against metabolic syndrome.

    Lipoic Acid: Antioxidant and Blood Sugar Support

    Lipoic acid is best known as a lipid and water-soluble antioxidant, but it also powerfully influences insulin secretion and sensitivity.20,21 The combination of lipoic acid and berberine has a strong potential to help patients improve their glycemic control. Like berberine, lipoic acid exerts effects upon the insulin receptor, but also aids in glucoregulation by facilitating recruitment
    of insulin-sensitive glucose transporters (GLUT-4 and GLUT-1) to muscle and adipose cell membranes.22 An in vitro study demonstrated alpha-lipoic acid's (ALA) protective effects against glucose-induced myoglobin glycation. Administration of ALA significantly reduced fructosamine levels, a direct association with decrease advanced glycation end product (AGE) formation, reduced free iron release from myoglobin, and showed significant protective effects from oxidative damage.23

    Related to its antioxidant function, lipoic acid is a key cofactor for mitochondrial enzymes involved in cellular metabolism and energy (ATP) production, specifically pyruvate dehydrogenase and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Lipoic acid is sometimes called an “antioxidant of antioxidants,”24 as it can regenerate vitamins E and C, coenzyme Q10 and glutathione.25 In fact, lipoic acid has an even greater redox potential than glutathione.22,25 Mitochondrial oxidative stress may be both a cause and an effect of impaired carbohydrate tolerance, and lipoic acid may be beneficial for comprehensively addressing this issue.


    1. Tabeshpour, J., Imenshahidi, M., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2017). A review of the effects of Berberis vulgaris and its major component, berberine, in metabolic syndrome. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 20(5), 557–568. doi:10.22038/IJBMS.2017.8682
    2. Lan, J., Zhao, Y., Dong, F., Yan, Z., Zheng, W., Fan, J., & Sun, G. (2015). Meta-analysis of the effect and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 161, 69-81. doi:
    3. Pang, B., Zhao, L. H., Zhou, Q., Zhao, T. Y., Wang, H., Gu, C. J., & Tong, X. L. (2015). Application of berberine on treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2015, 1-12. doi:10.1155/2015/905749
    4. Zhang, H., Wei, J., Xue, R., Wu, J. D., Zhao, W., Wang, S. K., ... Jiang, J. D. (2010). Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression. Metabolism, 59(2), 285-292. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.07.029
    5. Liu, D., Zhang, Y., Liu, Y., Hou, L., Li, S., Tian, H., & Zhao, T. (2018). Berberine modulates gut microbiota and reduces insulin resistance via the TLR4 signaling pathway. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes, 126(8), 513-520. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-125066
    6. Suman, R. K., Borde, M. K., Mohanty, I. R., Maheshwari, U., & Deshmukh, Y. A. (2016). Myocardial Salvaging Effects of Berberine in Experimental Diabetes Co-Existing with Myocardial Infarction. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 10(3), FF13–FF18. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2016/15794.7459
    7. Liu, L., Yu, Y. L., Yang, J. S., Li, Y., Liu, Y. W., Liang, Y.,...Wang, G.J. (2010). Berberine suppresses intestinal disaccharidases with beneficial metabolic effects in diabetic states, evidences from in vivo and in vitro study. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Archives of Pharmacology, 381(4):371-81. doi: 10.1007/s00210-010-0502-0
    8. Ma, X., Chen, Z., Wang, L., Wang, G., Wang, Z., Dong, X.,...Zhang, Z. (2018). The pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus by oxidative stress and inflammation: Its inhibition by berberine. Frontiers in Pharmacology. doi:
    9. Wang, Y., Yan, J., Chen, W., & Zhou, H. (2019). Berberine inhibits free fatty acid and LPS-induced inflammation via modulating ER stress response in macrophages. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Retrieved from
    10. Cao, B., Sun, R. B., Yan, G., Yang, G. Y., Aa, J. Y., & Li, J. (2019). Berberine reverses LPS-induced repression of CYP7A1 through an anti-inflammatory effects. Chinese Herbal Medicines. doi:
    11. Banach, M., Patti, A. M., Giglio, R. V., Cicero, A., Atanasov, A. G., Bajraktari, G.,... Rizzo, M. (2018). The role of nutraceuticals in statin intolerant patients. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 72(1), 96-118. DOI:
    12. Zhou, Y., Cao, S., Wang, Y., Xu, P., Yan, J., Bin, W.,...Kang, N. (2014). Berberine metabolites could induce low density lipoprotein receptor up-regulation to exert lipid-lowering effects in human hepatoma cells. Fitoterapia, 92, 230-237. Doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.11.010
    13. Firouzi, S., Malekahmadi, M., Ghayour-Mobarhan, M., Ferns, G., & Rahimi, H. R. (2018). Barberry in the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome: possible mechanisms of action. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 11, 699–705. doi:10.2147/DMSO.S181572
    14. Hu, X., Zhang, Y., Xue, Y., Zhang, Z., & Wang, J. (2018). Berberine is a potential therapeutic agent for metabolic syndrome via brown adipose tissue activation and metabolism regulation. American Journal of Translational Research, 10(11), 3322–3329.
    15. Li, X. Y., Zhao, Z. X., Huang, M., Feng, R., He, C. Y., Ma, C., ... Jiang, J. D. (2015). Effect of Berberine on promoting the excretion of cholesterol in high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemic hamsters. Journal of Translational Medicine, 13, 1-9. doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0629-3
    16. Wei, X., Wang, C., Hao, S., Song, H., & Yang, L. (2016). The Therapeutic Effect of Berberine in the Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2016, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2016/3593951
    17. Yan, H. M., Xia, M. F., Wang, Y., Chang, X. X., Yao, X. Z., Rao, S. X., ... Gao, X. (2015). Efficacy of Berberine in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. PloS one, 10(8), e0134172. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0134172
    18. Sun, Y., Xia, M., Yan, H., Han, Y., Zhang, F., Hu, Z., ... Gao, X. (2018). Berberine attenuates hepatic steatosis and enhances energy expenditure in mice by inducing autophagy and fibroblast growth factor 21. British Journal of Pharmacology, 175(2), 374–387. doi:10.1111/bph.14079
    19. Wang, N., Xu, Q., Tan, H. Y., Hong, M., Li, S., Yuen, M. F., & Feng, Y. (2016). Berberine inhibition of fibrogenesis in a rat model of liver fibrosis and in hepatic stellate cells. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2016, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2016/8762345
    20. Rahimlou, M., Asadi, M., Jahromi, N. B., & Mansoori, A. (2019). Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplementation effect on glycemic and inflammatory biomarkers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, 32, 16-28. doi:
    21. Genazzani, A. D., Shefer, K., Della Casa, D., Prati, A., Napolitano, A., Manzo, A., ... Simoncini, T. (2017). Modulatory effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) administration on insulin sensitivity in obese PCOS patients. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 41(5), 583-590. doi: 017-0782-z
    22. Uskokovic, A., Dinic, S., Grdovic, N., Jovanovic, J. A., Vidakovic, M., Poznanovic, G., & Mihailovic, M. (2018). Beneficial effects of 𝛼-lipoic acid in diabetes- and drug-induced liver injury. Archives of Biological Sciences, 70(4), 621-628. doi: 10.2298/ABS180503023U
    23. Ghelani, H., Razmovski-Naumovski, V., Pragada, R., & Nammi, S. (2018). Attenuation of glucose-induced myoglobin glycation and the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) by (R)-α-lipoic acid In Vitro. Biomolecules, 8(1), 1-13. Retrieved from
    24. Namazi, N., Larijani, B., & Azadbakht, L. (2018). Alpha-lipoic acid supplement in obesity treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Clinical Nutrition, 37(2), 419-428. doi: https://doi. org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.06.002
    25. Rochette, L., Ghibu, S., Muresan, A., & Vergely, C. Alpha‐lipoic acid: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential in diabetes. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 93(12):1021-7. doi:

    Dr. Berne's Whole Health Berberine Formula