Sugar is as addictive as Schedule I and II drugs like heroin and cocaine.
It’s important to stay away from added sugar for this reason alone.
Moreover, even the natural sources of sugar in the form of carbohydrates, fruits, and starchy food can still be too much.
Even if you are at a healthy weight, spiking your sugar is not healthy as it creates damaging free radicals, and leads to the release of stress hormones when sugar levels crash afterward.
There are some cheat codes I use to minimize the effect sugar has on our system.
Berberine is just one of the many options…
Here are Four of my Favorite Strategies to Support Level Blood Sugar Levels when Eating:
- During a meal, eat protein first, before carbs. This will slow the absorption of sugar from the carbohydrate portion of the meal.
- Exercise directly before a carb-containing meal. Even 30 seconds of burst exercise like air squats, jumping jacks, or push-ups directly before a meal can decrease the carb intake.
- Taking a walk after a meal helps to use up some of the sugar before it’s metabolized and stored as energy.
- Certain supplements can support how well your body handles sugar. I take berberine 10-20 minutes before eating.
Berberine and Blood Sugar
Berberine is one of my favorite supplements. It’s an active compound extracted from herbs like goldenseal, Oregon grape, or barberry – known to help maintain a normal response to sugar in your meals.
Berberine and other supplements are known to share this effect – and some now call them Glucose Disposal Agents (GDA). If you take Berberine 10-20 min prior to a meal, it will help maintain a normal response to sugar and carbohydrates in your food.
How Berberine Helps to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Naturally
Berberine upregulates an anti-aging, energy-sensing, and sugar-controlling system known as the AMPK (adenosine 5’ monophosphate-activated protein kinase) pathway.
When AMPK is activated, it has downstream benefits for many key anti-aging genes in the body (specifically MTOR, SIRT1, and NRF2).
Decades of anti-aging research point to AMPK and other pathways as primary ways to support healthy and delayed aging – and, researchers are getting closer to reversing aspects of cellular aging beyond these pathways too!
It is well-established that excess sugar promotes aging. Activating the AMPK pathway with supplements like berberine can help maintain normal glucose levels.
Taking berberine before carb-containing meals is one of the most useful and affordable strategies I know of that one can take to support normal blood sugar control, longevity, weight management, and a healthy gut.
Berberine extracts may also support the lessening of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by supporting AMPK activation (3). NAFLD is a common, yet often hidden consequence of excess carbohydrate intake and poor blood sugar control in the body.
I’ll take 1 capsule prior to meals for anti-aging support and to reduce sugar spikes, but for gut support, you can trigger gut-cleansing properties by taking up to three capsules, as often as three times daily.