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Berberine and Metformin for Longevity

Updated 25 May 2020
Connie Packer


Aging and shortening of life result from the body’s decreasing ability to refresh and repair itself over time. As the human body ages, it becomes less capable of rebuilding bone and muscle. And it becomes less capable of suppressing oxidation and clearing away unhealthy cellular contents (autophagy). By maintaining the body’s ability to repair itself, it may be possible to extend life.

There are various ways to support the body's repair function and adopt a longevity lifestyle. They include changes to exercise and diet. According to anti-aging research, substances known as “geroprotectors” may also support the body's repair function. They include the supplement Berberine and the drug Metformin.

What Is Berberine?

Berberine is a natural compound found in various plants such as the barberry shrub.

What does Berberine do? Berberine benefits have been shown to include support for healthy blood sugar. And Berberine supplements have also been observed to support healthy heart function. Some people use it for weight loss or PCOS.

How does Berberine work? It may work by slowing a metabolic pathway that causes inflammation and increasing activity of the AMPK enzyme.

Berberine reviews typically note that the compound may not be well absorbed when taken as an oral supplement. And that may contribute to Berberine side effects related to digestive discomfort.

Studies are being done to improve absorption. Methods to increase absorption include:

Is Berberine anti-aging? Berberine has increased lifespan in flies. This has motivated researchers to explore the use of Berberine to combat aging in humans.

What Is Metformin?

Metformin (sometimes misspelled “metaformin”) is a synthetic compound derived from French lilac.

What does Metformin do? Although some people use Metformin for weight loss or PCOS, the most common Metformin use is related to blood glucose control. Therefore, most of the human research on Metformin includes participants with type 2 diabetes.

How does Metformin work? Like Berberine, Metformin may increase activity of the AMPK enzyme.

Metformin reviews typically note that the most common Metformin side effects are related to digestion. They may include abdominal discomfort, lack of appetite, bloating, and diarrhea.

Is Metformin anti-aging? Researchers have observed that Metformin treatment may decrease mortality in people with type 2 diabetes. Metformin has been shown to improve healthspan and lifespan in mice. And the TAME study (Targeting Aging with Metformin) is testing the potential to extend healthy years of life for humans.


Comparing Berberine vs Metformin

As noted above, Berberine and Metformin may both support healthy blood sugar. They are also similar in their mechanisms of action and cellular level effects.

Both compounds appear to increase AMPK enzyme activity. AMPK is activated when there is a deficit of energy, like during fasting or exercise.

Cells activate AMPK to increase their access to energy. This facilitates glucose and fatty acid uptake from the blood. It also increases fat and glycogen breakdown, and inhibits both glucose and fat storage.

AMPK acts in at least two ways. First, it directly phosphorylates enzymes, resulting in an immediate effect. And second, it phosphorylates the transcription factors of enzymes, resulting in a longer lasting effect.

Metformin and Berberine may also increase glucose consumption. They can each inhibit complex 1 of the electron transport chain. When they do that, the process becomes less efficient at producing ATP. And that results in a use of energy that mimics a restricted calorie diet.

Scientists have done research to compare Berberine and Metformin. For example, some have found that “the hypoglycemic effect of berberine was similar to that of metformin.” And others have observed that “metformin and berberine share many features in actions despite different structure.”

Can you take Berberine and Metformin together? Although some may consider Berberine to be a Metformin alternative, the two may actually complement each other. For example, when using Berberine with Metformin, Berberine may support healthy levels of lactic acid. It helped in mice, at least, when using Berberine and Metformin together.

In summary, reviewing Berberine compared to Metformin, the two compounds share some general effects, while varying in mechanisms of action. Both are worth including in studies related to human longevity. And both are worth considering for their anti-aging potential.

Using Berberine and Metformin

More research is required to confirm the extent to which Berberine and Metformin may contribute to healthy life extension. However, they appear to be among the most promising geroprotectors presently available. And clinical studies demonstrate they may support healthy body function in the near term.

Metformin is a drug that requires a prescription in the United States. Metformin dosage varies, but people commonly take Metformin 500 mg once or twice per day. Brands include Glucophage, Glumetza, and Fortamet. If you're interested in using them, talk with your doctor.

Berberine supplements are readily available on the market without a prescription. People usually take Berberine HCl 500 mg one to four times per day. When selecting a Berberine supplement, look for one that incorporates a method to increase absorption. And buy it from a company that responsibly seeks out quality suppliers.

Thrivous Vitality Geroprotector

Thrivous developed Vitality Geroprotector to promote better aging. It is formulated to support healthy blood sugar and protect cells and DNA from oxidation.

Vitality provides a clinical dose of Berberine, paired with Milk Thistle for better absorption. It also provides clinical doses of Blueberry anthocyanin and Coenzyme Q10. The benefits of each nutrient and dose are backed by multiple human studies. You may download study summaries from the product webpage.

Like all Thrivous products, Vitality has an open source formula with all nutrients and doses fully disclosed on its label. We also publish all quality control documents from suppliers, manufacturing, and third-parties. They are available for download from the product webpage. This is an exceptional practice in the supplement industry.

Vitality Geroprotector is available to purchase online. Get yours today.

Buy Vitality Geroprotector

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