Cloverdale Pharmasave Health Centre
5778 176A Street
Surrey, British Columbia
V3S 4H3
P: 604-576-2888
F: 604-576-2882
Store Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Statutory Holidays: CLOSED

Pharmasave Steveston Village
105 - 12420 No. 1 Road
Richmond, British Columbia
V7E 6N2
P: 604.232.0159
F: 604.232.0526
Store Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Statutory Holidays: CLOSED



September 22, 2022

Diabetes and Insulin Resistance: The Silent Killer


1 in 3 Canadians (11 million) have diabetes or prediabetes. 1.7 million Canadians have type 2 diabetes and don’t even know it. Nearly 6 million Canadians live with prediabetes, over 80% don’t know it, and if left untreated, more than half will develop type 2 diabetes within 8 to 10 years. Diabetes is responsible for 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failures requiring dialysis, and is the leading cause of blindness.
Type 2 diabetes has long been considered a chronic progressive disease and upon diagnosis one would be put on a steady string of diabetes medications until eventually you end up on insulin injections. Newer evidence is now showing that diabetes can be put into remission.

Most diabetics will start with the drug metformin which improves insulin sensitivity and decreases glucose production from the liver/muscles. One common side effect though is diarrhea (up to 53%), and GI distress. It can also deplete the body of Vitamin B12. There is a naturally occurring plant alkaloid called berberine that works similarly to metformin but with far less side effects. It has been shown to improve the effectiveness of insulin, decrease glucose production in the liver, and increase the breakdown of glucose in cells. In one study comparing metformin to berberine, both had similar blood sugar lowering effects but additionally, berberine reduced A1C levels by 21%, as well as lowered LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also be combined with lipid lowering medications, but monitoring is required if combined with other diabetes, blood pressure, and blood thinning medications.

Studies have shown that the labeled amount of berberine varies greatly from company to company, so I like to recommend professional brands like Berberine HP by Thorne or Berberine by Cytomatrix. Most studies showed benefits with patients taking 500mg two to three times a day. It should not be used in pregnancy or breastfeeding or patients on cyclosporine.

I do not believe there is a magic pill for diabetes as most medications only deal with the “numbers” and not the root cause. In fact, most diabetes medications work to increase insulin production (or directly provide insulin), which will worsen insulin resistance and eventually cause the diabetes to progressively get worse.

A better approach would be to look at the root cause of what is causing increased insulin production, insulin resistance, and fat storage. Consider attending one of my upcoming monthly seminars on the root cause of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and belly fat. I will give details of a UBC study using dietary measures that allowed 35.7% of patients to discontinue their diabetes medications after 12 weeks. The next seminar is on October 20 & November 17 2022. Check out our success stories HERE.

Lyle Sunada is a compounding pharmacist and NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner specializing in hormone balancing and alternative medicine at Cloverdale Pharmasave.  He also specializes in veterinary medicine for animals. Everything mentioned in the article is available In-Store.

Articles, Q&A, blog posts and all material​s submitted for publishing is the intellectual property of Cloverdale Pharmacy Ltd – reproduction in part or whole, in print or online, without written consent and permission is prohibited.

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