Berberine is one of the key ingredients in OsteoStim. OsteoStim is our unique (there is nothing even close to it on the market) bone-health supplement that promotes normal bone remodeling activity through bio-active compounds such as berberine. A strategic blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and medicinal herbs, OsteoStim aids skeletal health by calming osteoclastic bone resorption and boosting osteoblastic bone formation.
Berberine is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that is recognized around the world for its health-promoting benefits and treatment of disease. Not only does berberine lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, but it is extremely effective for dampening chronic systemic inflammation and reducing oxidative stress…two major reasons for osteoporosis and accelerated bone loss as we get older. In addition, berberine activates an enzyme, AMP activated protein kinase (AMPk), within cells. AMPk acts as a chemical sensor to help maintain energy mechanisms including the formation of mitochondria, the power generators within cells. It is through the stimulation of AMPk that berberine is able to reduce osteoclastic bone resorption when RANKL (a cell signaling molecule) is excessively elevated.
Some of you may be familiar with the medication, Prolia (denosumab), for osteoporosis. This drug is an antibody against RANKL (you can read more about RANKL in my book, The Whole-Body Approach to Osteoporosis). By blocking RANKL, Prolia dramatically lowers osteoclast cell activity and thus bone resorption. The end result is higher bone mineral density and less fracture risk, at least initially.
One of the actions of berberine is similar to Prolia in that it reduces RANKL activity. But, unlike Prolia, berberine does not carry the high risk for serious allergic reactions or adverse side effects. The reasons:
1) Prolia can excessively reduce RANKL levels: RANKL is important not only for activating bone resorbing osteoclasts (some resorption of bone is necessary to keep the skeleton youthful and devoid of excessive microfracture accumuation) but also for a healthy immune response. Excessive lowering of RANKL can cause bone to become “old” and brittle from overly limiting osteoclastic activity. Excessive lowering of RANKL also compromises the immune response, and creates increased risk for infection and serious allergic reactions. Long term use of Prolia (over 3 years) can increase the risk for atypical femur fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw.
2) The Prolia rebound effect: There is an increased risk of broken bones if Prolia therapy is discontinued. When the anti-resorptive effects of Prolia wear off, the body senses the absence of the RANKL antibodies and reacts by hyper-producing RANKL. This leads to accelerated osteoclastic activity and rapid bone loss.
Berberine, on the other hand, does not excessively reduce RANKL levels. Berberine works to NATURALLY lower inflammation and oxidative stress which are promoters of excess RANKL production. By lowering RANKL to normal levels, berberine does not cause bone to get “old” or brittle. And, with berberine, there is no accelerated bone loss if for any reason it is discontinued.
Bio-active berberine is just one of the reasons that makes OsteoStim your number one choice for supplemental bone health. In addition to berberine, OsteoStim also contains therapeutic amounts of vitamins D3 and K2 (MK4 and MK7), biotin, alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, taurine, Bioferrin 1000, MBP (milk basic protein), and silymarin (milk thistle).
Many of you have been asking, “What can I do in the short term until OsteoStim is available?” My suggestions are:
1) It is not harmful to take intermittent supplement “holidays”. Going for a week or two without taking OsteoStim is perfectly fine as long as you are continuing to eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and devoid in bone robbing food stuffs.
2) If, after two weeks or so, you want to supplement your diet with alpha-lipoic acid (200 mg/day) and berberine (250 mg/day) this will hold you over until OsteoStim is back on our shelves.