Berberine. Don’t swallow the hype. Or the pill. Is not “Nature’s Ozempic”

Posted 05 July 2023

Berberine, a compound found in several plants used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, is being hyped on TikTok as a natural alternative to Ozempic (semaglutide) for weight loss. However, Joe Schwarcz, PhD, who directs the McGill Office for Science and Society, notes:

(a) berberine is poorly absorbed from the intestine when taken as a dietary supplement,

(b) unlike semaglutide, it doesn’t act as an analogue of the hormone GLP-1 to suppress appetite, and

(c) scientific evidence is lacking to support its use for weight loss.

Reference: Schwarcz J. Berberine. Don’t swallow the hype. Or the pill. McGill Office for Science and Society, June 22, 2023

Source: Consumer Health Digest #23-27 July 2, 2023

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Rychol – ASA ruling

Posted 17 April 2013

Rychol claims to reduce cholesterol. Pharmachoice laid a complaint against this claim with the ASA. The ASA ruled against the claims. Rychol appealed and asked a retired professor, Professor Van Gelder, to substantiate the claims for the product. Reading his report, he appears to NOT unequivocally support the claims, but then says that he evaluated the data that the company itself supplied, and therefore that the claims for Rychol are true. It is unfathomable that any scientist would accept unpublished, non-peer-reviewed data at face value of a company selling a product, and claiming that the data will suffice!

We have evaluated the evidence on studies for the individual ingredients, some combined with other ingredients used in Rychol, and simply they do not add up. For example, Rychol uses berberine at 60-120 mg per day (Cholesterol levels above 5 : take 2 tablets per day; Read the rest