Most supplements don’t really work, or at least haven’t been proven to work.
However, there are some exceptions to this.
In fact, a few supplements are so effective that they are comparable to pharmaceutical drugs.
Here are 4 natural health boosting supplements that are as powerful as drugs (if not more).
1. Berberine Drastically Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Improves Metabolic Health
Berberine is a bioactive substance that is extracted from certain plants. It isn’t well known, but may just be the single most powerful supplement on earth. Berberine provides all sorts of health benefits, but is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels (1).
It is believed to lower blood sugar via numerous mechanisms, including reducing glucose production in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity (2, 3).Studies have shown that taking berberine can lower blood sugar levels to a similar extent as the popular diabetes drug metformin (4).
In a study of 116 patients with type 2 diabetes, berberine lowered fasting blood sugar levels by 20 percent and HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels) by 12 percent (5).
Berberine is also very effective at improving other health markers. It leads to major reductions in total and LDL cholesterol, and lowers blood triglycerides and blood pressure levels, which should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease (1, 6, 7, 8). Berberine has also been shown to have anti-bacterial effects, and may be protective against heart failure, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (9, 10, 11, 12).
Keep in mind that berberine is a very powerful supplement, with a wide range of biological effects, so use it with caution. Definitely consult with your doctor if you are currently taking any other medications.
Bottom Line: Berberine is a powerful supplement. It can lead to major reductions in blood sugar levels and improvements in most major risk factors for heart disease, to name a few.
2. Curcumin (From Turmeric) is a Potent Anti-Inflammatory Agent
Turmeric is a popular spice, known for giving curry its yellow color. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a medicinal herb.
Turmeric contains a powerful biologically active substance called curcumin, which has been studied thoroughly in recent years (13). Curcumin fights inflammation at the molecular level by blocking an inflammatory signalling molecule called NF-kB (14, 15).
It is so effective that it has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory drugs in some studies, without any major side effects (16, 17).
For example, it has been shown to be very effective in treating arthritis. In a study of 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 500 mg of curcumin per day was more effective than the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac (18). Curcumin also has numerous other health benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant, can improve heart health, and may help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s (19, 20, 21, 22).
According to one study, curcumin can also help fight depression. In this study of 60 depressed patients, curcumin was as effective as the antidepressant drug prozac (23).
Curcumin is poorly absorbed, so it is better to get a supplement that also contains piperine/bioperine, which has been shown to enhance absorption by 2000% (24).