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How Diabetes and Berberine Work – Part 1

by Dr. Karl Nadolsky


I always wanted to start a small video series to help people learn about the diseases we try to prevent. So what I did was buy a special tripod adapter for my iphone (which records video in HD), a huge whiteboard, some markers, and a hook on microphone (not used in this video because it didn’t arrive in time). My goal of starting a small video series is to simplify how these diseases work and what to do about them so that anyone could understand and not just doctors. My brother and I think education is a key component when treating our patients in the clinic. We feel that if they at least have the slightest clue what is going on in their body, they will have a better chance at fixing the problems.

This first video is basically a replication of the talk we give to many patients with diabetes or insulin resistance. You can get a more in depth version by reading my brother’s article The War on Obesity and Diabetes.  This will be a multi-part series since it is hard to simplify a process (diabetes) that has multiple mechanisms. Also, each of these will show how berberine works in fighting insulin resistance and diabetes since many people don’t understand its mechanism of action. I also mention prescription drugs that work similarly.


Hopefully you got something out of this video. The next in the series will describe how the liver and pancreas don’t cooperate correctly in diabetes and how berberine, exercise, and other prescriptions can help. This video basically described our peripheral tissues (muscle and fat) which is a big part of diabetes, but many people don’t know about the liver. Stay tuned!

Questions, comments, or concerns? Please come on over to our members only forum and ask us anything you want. We will get back to you quickly.


  1. Patrick Inouye August 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Fantastic video Dr. Spencer :-)

  2. Connie Steele-Smith, J.D. August 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    This is an excellent presentation and overview of how glucose/sugar is used in a healthy individual and how it is improperly used in someone with a blood sugar disorder. After I finish doing my HIT workout, I plan to rewatch it with a pen and paper in hand. I also look forward to the continued video series, especially since I plan to share them with my sister, who is a research neurophysiologist, who also is very much interested in this issue because of personal health reasons, family history and the intriguing science. We both tried so hard to save my father, who was a “brittle” diabetic, from dying from this illness. What we really could have used was berberine to grind up in the pancake mix that he stubbornedly and singledly ate for days (without our knowledge) that triggered his last diabetic coma. Thank you so much for your educating the consumer and patient as to the basic physiology of the illness and how the supplement and/or medications work so we can make more informed and healthier choices in the future.

  3. Dr. Spencer Nadolsky August 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks! Part 2 video is done, but I just have to put the post that goes with it. :)

    Your comments are much appreciated! The berberine in the pancakes would have been great especially since he wouldn’t have eaten them (berberine is SUPER bitter.. haha).

    Thanks again!

  4. Mary Batt June 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the easy explanation on how our body processes sugar. Since i was diagnosed 5 days ago and they said just buy a meter and take the pills. I had no idea how to use a meter or which one to buy, Let alone know causes it or how to best control it. I have found out all my info on the internet and thanks to a good friend, she sent me your link. I will try to find your part 2 . I am hoping to reverse it if possible. again Thank you.. I will have to re watch it again, being it was a little hard to concentrate on the chart due to i was checking out how buff you are. Take that as a compliment and keep up the great work.. :0

  5. Dr. Spencer Nadolsky June 3, 2013 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Aw thank you Mary!!! Let us know your progress :)

  6. Suzanne January 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    A great video and you make it very easy to understand.. I am 59 and was not checked by a doctor but got a blood glucose meter to measure ketones originally.. when I measured blood glucose it was around 131 fasting.. I thought this is not good so I went on a ketosis diet.. It brought down fasting to 100 sometimes 98 .. I have been on a very low carb 20g or less a day for two months now and been in ketosis.. but I cant seem to get my blood sugar to go down in the high 70s to 80s .. I bought your glycosolve but have not taken it yet.. Is it ok to take even though I do not eat sugar and am in ketosis ? also with every meal.? I only eat twice a day… Thank you for your time.

  7. Dr. Karl Nadolsky January 13, 2014 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Hi Suzanne,
    It is great that you are doing so well with your diet to help your glucose control! For the Glycosolve, we always recommend having a full evaluation and discussion with your doctor. Based upon the evidence which has accumulated thus far, berberine (the main ingredient) may still help with glucose metabolism and has also been shown to improve lipoproteins (cholesterol). It has not been shown to cause hypo (low) glycemia. Taking it with your meals, even just twice daily seems reasonable. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    Dr. Karl

  8. Earl May 8, 2015 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    How much berberine should a person take a day ?

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