Can a Plant Compound Help Maintain Glucose Balance? Researchers Say Yes

Can a Plant Compound Help Maintain Glucose Balance? Researchers Say Yes

If you’re like many people, maintaining healthy blood sugar in the normal range may be one of your top health concerns. If so, then you’ll want to know more about an underappreciated—and often overlooked – dietary supplement to add to your healthy diet and lifestyle. It’s called dihydroberberine.

It’s name is rather clunky for an elegant bioactive compound with benefits that extend beyond glucose balance. Read on for five things you need to know about dihydroberberine.

1. What is dihydroberberine?

If you’re familiar with natural therapies, you’ll no doubt recognize the name berberine. Why? This plant compound has a long history of use in Chinese, ayurvedic, and traditional medicine. Plus, controlled clinical studies show its promise for supporting cardiometabolic health. Dihydroberberine is a chemical cousin to berberine. Dihydroberberine may be less well known than berberine, but it’s ability to deliver serious health benefits is worthy of headline news.

2. What happens to dihydroberberine in the body?

Once consumed, dihydroberberine is readily absorbed in the intestine (at a rate up to 5x higher than berberine, according to one study). Next, it immediately reverts to berberine, which is then distributed to tissues throughout the body such as the liver, kidneys, muscle, lungs, brain, heart, pancreas, and fat (in descending order).

3. What are the potential therapeutic effects of berberine?

Berberine has been widely studied in pre-clinical and clinical studies, primarily for its ability to support glucose balance, lipid metabolism and blood vessel health. It works, in large part, by stimulating the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway. AMPK is the “master switch” that controls carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in the mitochondria,” explains our Scientific Advisory Board member Knox Van Dyke, PhD. In addition, berberine plays a role in controlling oxidative stress and promoting a healthy inflammatory response.

4. Why choose sustained-release dihydroberberine? 

Since berberine is poorly absorbed, effective amounts are typically in the range of 500 mg taken three times daily. This regime inconvenient and can be hard on the stomach for sensitive people. On the other hand, thanks to the two hydrogen molecules (dihydro-) attached to the berberine, dihydroberberine is more easily absorbed and rapidly converted to berberine in the blood, explains Dr. Van Dyke. 

Dr. Van Dyke is a professor emeritus at the West Virginia Medical School and is considered by many to be a maverick in developing novel therapeutic treatments. He holds numerous U.S. and worldwide patents for his innovative work in drug and dietary supplement development. Dr. Van Dyke was also instrumental in the development of our sustained-release dihydroberberine supplement. 

5. Who can benefit from supplementing with dihydroberberine?

Anyone who has glucose control as a top priority. As a highly bioavailable form of berberine, sustained-release dihydroberberine may help maintain healthy blood glucose and lipid levels in the normal range while supporting vascular health. Plus, it’s formulated to complement a doctor-recommended diet and lifestyle.