Berries and Insulin Sensitizers

Blueberries and inositol will knock your socks off

Written by Kamal Patel
Last Updated:

Blueberry is perhaps the most popular berry (that or strawberries), and a good source of the subset of flavonoids known as anthocyanins (of which there are six of them). Blueberries show benefits when consumed by themselves, or a concentrated extract can be consumed.

It shows most promise in regards to neurology, where it has been shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline and rat studies suggest that this cognitive boost may apply to youth (albeit to a smaller degree). It seems to work via stimulating a growth factor known as BDNF. Beyond that, a large body of rodent literature suggests that blueberry ingestion can reduce inflammation specifically in adipose tissue, suggesting that it may confer anti-obese effects in any disease state where obesity is also associated with inflammation. It should be noted that blueberries do not have an inherent 'fat burning' effect.

This page should be used as a reference when looking at other dark berries, such as elderberry or aronia melanocarpa, since the bioactives are the same.

Blueberries are a healthy fruit, and the effective dose of blueberries can_ be consumed via the fruit itself (supplementation of a concentrated extract is not required). It shows promise for general anti-metabolic syndrome effects and is proven to help with cognitive decline

Sea buckthorn is a berry that is very high in quercetin and related flavonoids, although all parts of the plant appear to be medicinally useful. It is recommended for a wide variety of general health preventative approaches, but aside from maybe a reduction in platelet aggregation that applies to otherwise healthy humans, it does not seem to have many other unique benefits associated with it.

Sea buckthorn is a healthy plant that has berries that can be consumed, and although traditional medicine recommends it for heart health there is currently no evidence that can be used to say that sea buckthorn is better than other supplements or plants

Pterostilbene is essentially a methylated resveratrol molecule, structurally very similar, and holds mostly the same properties. The potency of pterostilbene relative to resveratrol has been noted to be both more potent and less, depending on which parameter is being measured.

It does appear to be slightly more potent than resveratrol on two of the more popular parameters (antioxidative and antiinflammatory) and the methylation makes pterostilbene very well absorbed, in contrast to the poor absorption rates of resveratrol.

At this moment in time, pterostilbene is being called a more potent resveratrol molecule. It requires a lot more evidence to solidify this claim, but the studies conducted so far agree with it (but are just not vast enough to be conclusive)

Inositol can be seen as the major update this week, and due to inositol being added we have added a stack for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which inositol has a notable A ranking in.

Inositol is a pseudovitamin (commonly called a B-vitamin unofficially) that appears to be deficient in states of insulin resistance, and when taken in relatively feasible dosages, it can reduce the state of insulin resistance and whatever the insulin resistance causes. While these low doses are unable to improve insulin sensitivity in people without any problems, moderate to high doses seem to be able to stimulate glucose uptake into skeletal muscle (the ramifications of this action, which suggest it can be used as a sports supplement, are not yet known).

It also has neurological effects, and when superloaded in doses of 14-18g it can help with panic disorders and anxiety, although oddly the one study in PTSD failed to find an effect. While the influence on the aforementioned two is quite notable, the antidepressive effect associated with inositol is quite weak.

Inositol is a very cheap and reliable supplement to improve insulin sensitivity in people who currently have insulin resistance (has not been adequately tested ie. people without resistance). Moderate to high doses may aid in glucose deposition into muscle, and superloading confers notable anxiolytic and weak antidepressive properties

Anatabine is a relatively lackluster update. It is an alkaloid found in tobacco alongside nicotine that is being marketed for its antiinflammatory effects. While it shows promise against autoimmune diseases in high doses, it requires much too high a dose to be effective (about 68-fold higher than the supplements currently on the market) and the limited human evidence using a dose 300-600% higher than the advertised doses failed to find any antiinflammatory effects.

Anatabine seems to have some legit evidence when superloaded, but supplements on the market right now are way too low to matter

Picrorhiza kurroa was a late addition, and is a very interesting molecule. It has very limited human evidence (a lone study in hepatitis) but a plethora of rat research. In general, this herb and two specific molecules (collectively referred to as picroliv or kutkin) is a liver protective compound that can act in a preventative and rehabilitative manner with a potency that exceeds silymarin from milk thistle. It has shown benefits against all tested hepatotoxins including death cap mushroom and alcohol, and pending future research may be a very potent liver health compound.

Picrorhiza kurroa and its kutkin component are very potently hepatoprotective, exceeding milk thistle. Usage of picrorhiza is limited due to a lack of human research at this moment in time