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Natural Health

This Plant Extract Helped One Woman Lower Her Blood Sugar, Get Her Energy Back, and Lose 40 Pounds

She lost her cravings — and 10 pounds — in her first two weeks.


Anna Esterline yawned, struggling against an afternoon slump. She tried to talk herself out of a sugary snack, but she knew her fifth-graders needed her to be on her toes. Taking a bite of a mini candy bar, she sighed. I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and I can’t get off!

Burdened by unwanted weight and blood-sugar swings from being a prediabetic, Anna always found herself needing a nap and a triple espresso toward the middle of the day. Anna’s doctor had prescribed metformin for her high blood sugar and to help with symptoms of PCOS and endometriosis, but she didn’t feel better.

In fact, Anna felt like her health was unraveling. So when her sister, Sara Gottfried, MD, developed her low-carb “Younger” program, Anna agreed to be a guinea pig and try it. She liked that it included berberine, a plant-based supplement that help cells become more receptive to insulin, and Anna started taking a 500 mg. capsule 30 minutes before a meal.

Anna Esterline
Anna Esterline, 46Copyright Marie Pham Photography

After one week, Anna’s cravings were gone, and within two weeks, her pants felt looser after shedding 10 pounds! Delighted, Anna watched her fasting blood sugar fall from 105 to 70.

After nine months, Anna was 40 pounds lighter and hasn’t had any problems with her PCOS or endometriosis since. “Best of all, I’ve been able to maintain my energy and weight loss for years — even during the pandemic!” she smiles. “I look and feel better than I did in my 30s, and I feel comfortable knowing I’m using berberine rather than a pharmaceutical drug.” Ever a teacher, she says: “It’s easy to transform your life with just one change!”

What Berberine Can Do For You

A natural plant extract found in the roots and bark of goldenseal, barberry and goldthread, berberine has been shown to lower blood-sugar levels as effectively as prescription metformin to help women ward off diabetes. “The extract binds to cells and allows blood sugar in so it can be burned for fuel,” explains integrative physician Fred Pescatore, MD. Indeed, supplementing with berberine can lower subjects’ blood-sugar levels by 57 percent. The healthy result: a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Bonus benefit: Berberine has also been shown to lower cholesterol! A supplement we like: Naomi Berberine, $35 for 60 capsules (Buy at

As always, be sure to speak with your doctor before trying any new supplements. Berberine may help some women on their health journey, but it isn’t for everyone. A doctor can help you make the best decision for you.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Save on Healthcare (Buy on Amazon, $12.99).  

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