The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Berberine: A new (old) drug to treat diabetes?

    Preliminary evidence, in the August issue of Diabetes indicates that “berberine displays beneficial effects in the treatment of diabetes and obesity at least in part via stimulation of AMPK [AMP-activated protein kinase] activity.”

    Here’s some background.

    Berberine is used in Chinese medicine to treat infections and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. It also has effects on the heart.

    AMPK plays a central role in regulating metabolism in the body in response to nutrients and exercise. A good drawing here illustrates the extensive influence of AMPK activity.

    The potential importance of berberine in diabetes might be its ability to address insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes at its most important level — skeletal muscle. Greater understanding of how to activate AMPK in skeletal muscle could lead to significant benefits. Weight control with berberine, unlike many other drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes, would be an added benefit.

    8/4/06 9:42 JR

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