Berberine Has Been Declared “Nature’s Ozempic” on TikTok. We Asked An Ozempic Expert Whether That Makes Sense

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Berberine, a chemical commonly used in Eastern medicine, is suddenly popping up on Western algorithms. Videos tagged with “berberine” have eclipsed 100 million views on TikTok, where it’s now being called “nature’s Ozempic.” For a read on that, we hit up someone with a lot of knowledge about actual Ozempic (and the other powerful new GLP-1 weight loss drugs), Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, an obesity specialist physician and medical director for weight loss program Sequence. 

He told us he is swimming upstream against the TikTok hype. “I would not use it for weight loss purposes, and regardless and I would discuss with a doctor before using any supplements,” Nadolsky told GQ.

Though Nadolsky has personally tinkered with berberine in the past, interested in its insulin-sensitizing properties after a high-carb meal, he ultimately found he was sensitive enough to insulin on his own, and stopped taking it because of its unknown long-term effects. He emphasized that he does not broadly recommend this supplement to patients, or anyone, for the same reason. There may be short-term benefits for glucose and lipid metabolism, he said, but it’s difficult to know what the long-term effects might be.

Berberine is not approved by the FDA, Nadolsky noted, so there is no guarantee of the contents of berberine supplements, while there is also a risk of the supplements containing contaminants. Even without the manufacturing concerns, he still would not recommend it for weight loss.

It should go without saying, but ask your doctor if the supplements on your For You page are actually for

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Berberine Has Been Declared “Nature’s Ozempic” on TikTok. We Asked An Ozempic Expert Whether That Makes Sense

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