Posted by Dr. Nadolsky on 7/30/2012
Berberine is one of the most powerful botanicals I have read about and one of the reasons is because of its effects on AMPK. AMPK is short for AMP Activated Protein Kinase which regulates insulin, glucose transport, and fat storage / burning.
So the basics is that when AMPK is activated, glucose is readily taken up into the muscles as well as other tissues via GLUT4 (glucose transporter). This can be stimulated by exercise, metformin, and also berberine
Normally insulin will activate the glucose transporters in cells to come out but when AMPK is activated, the glucose transporters come out regardless. This is important because there is less need for insulin. So basically this means that things that activate AMPK like berberine
will create less of a need for insulin. This is the idea behind insulin sensitivity.
The bottom line is that for healthy folks this means that doing some type of exercise each day will help with insulin sensitivity. For insulin resistant, this means doing exercise plus adding metformin and now berberine.