Beat the Sugar Blues and Cancer Too
Beat the Sugar Blues and Cancer Too!
by Mitch Booth
I promised in last month’s article that I would pursue the remarkable benefits of a nutraceutical called Berberine. Starting with an article written by Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D. (Health and Healing, February 2012 ) and ending with references to metabolic disease analyzed by some of this nation’s most outstanding researchers and medical doctors: Dr. Otto Warburg, M.D., Nobel Laureate, Dr. Thomas Seyfried, PhD and, one of my favorites, Dr. Steven Sinatra, M.D., cardiologist. Each has an understanding that all degenerative diseases in the human body can be traced back to inflammation. The most prevalent inflammatory diseases which are cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s all share a common link: metabolic dysfunction. The starting point of the inflammatory cycle occurs when the body is deficient in an enzyme called activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK is an enzyme critical in maintaining the body’s glucose management and creating homeostasis. In last month’s article, we explained how Berberine activates AMPK which converts to ATP, the basic fuel of our cells. This herbal medicine has been the subject of over 2,800 studies listed by PubMed, most of these studies published in the last five years. Not only does Berberine, when properly extracted, prevent hyperinsulinemia (type 2 diabetes), but helps regulate how our energy is metabolized. When this critical process becomes unbalanced, the body produces aberrant cell growth such as tumors. Malignant tumors get their energy in a way that is the total opposite of healthy cells. Instead of utilizing the normal process of aerobic cell respiration, tumor cells get fuel through glycolysis alone, a process which converts glucose to ATP through anaerobic (without oxygen) means. If you want tumors to grow, deprive them of oxygen, stick them in a high-acid environment, juice them with refined sugar and off they go…they grow.
So how do you reverse this process or even prevent tumor creation: change the way they metabolize fuel (see Dr. Thomas Seyfried’s phenomenal book: Cancer as a Metabolic Disease). His research illustrates the process by which Berberine stops cancer cell proliferation. It changes cancer cells at the metabolic level by activating our body’s metabolic regulator AMPK. This is the “switch” that Dr. Y. Zhang described in the clinical journal Endocrinology and Metabolism / July 2008 (see last month’s article 6-17-16).
The loss of AMPK has been directly correlated to tumor malignancy. Indeed, the latest study completed at Lanzhou University in China (Anti-cancer Agents Med Chem, 2015 p66-78) showed that a daily regimen of Berberine (500mg 2x/day) had an inhibitory effect on colorectal cancer and brain tumors as well as reversing the inflammatory response to cigarette smoking, thus eliminating a major risk factor for lung, stomach and prostate cancers. The study showed that Berberine regulated the reprogramming of cell metabolism. The amplification of AMPK “turns on” the process of aerobic (healthy) cell growth within the mitochondria of cancerous tumors causing cancer cells to starve and eventually self-destruct.
Wow, this is a remarkable achievement for a plant that has been studied for centuries, but is only now meeting the clinical standard of “evidence based medicine”. A nutraceutical bridging the gap with conventional medicine, but with these proven side effects: homeostasis of blood sugar/insulin levels, lipid levels and, due to its mild antibacterial properties, producing antiinflammatory responses.
Want to turbo-charge Berberine’s benefits? Just add Resveratrol. I will discuss this synergy in my next article. We aren’t done with Berberine yet. Beat the sugar blues, beat cancer on the cellular level and do even more!