Thank you! Please check your inbox shortly for a welcome message from Dr. Ryan and your 5 Pillars of Anti-Aging Masterclass! If you don't receive the email in a few minutes please check your spam folder.

Your FREE Gift Is Waiting...

Sign up below to get:

  • check

    The “5 Pillars of Anti-Aging Masterclass” Video Series ($47 value)

  • check

    Valuable tips on nutrition, exercise & supplementation

  • check

    Insights to keep you happy and healthy at any age


Berberine for Diabetes

Berberine for Diabetes


Americans are awash in a sea of refined sugar. Nearly every top selling food product is loaded with sugar, often times containing more than three times the recommended daily intake.

Our bodies are genetically designed to like certain flavors, and sweet is one of the most desirable. The reason we love sweet foods is because when we eat them, they trigger endorphins in our brains, making them highly pleasurable. The center of the brain that is triggered by these flavors is part of the opioid circuitry.

Much like drugs we can become addicted to food. Sweet, salty, and fatty foods are highly addictive. Just like with drug addiction, some people have a higher probability of becoming addicted than others, and the makers of the world’s most unhealthy foods are counting on that. Manufacturers spend countless hours engineering food products that are designed to make their consumers addicted, boosting sales while affecting the health of the nation.

Consuming too much sugar can cause a range of illnesses like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes to name a few.

Diabetes affects more than 37 million Americans, comprising over 10% of our entire population, with non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native adults about twice as likely to contract this disease as non-Hispanic whites.

Studies have repeatedly shown that high glycemic foods –those that quickly raise blood sugar- leads to poor insulin sensitivity and causes diabetes as well as obesity, leading to heart disease, which makes sugar more of a national safety threat than most people would think.

Heart Disease

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body processes glucose in the blood. As we eat food, the carbohydrates are converted inside the body into sugars. Some complex carbohydrates, like found in vegetables, take longer to convert to sugar, and are considered to be low on the glycemic index. The body then produces insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that allows the body to use glucose for energy or store it for later use as fat. Insulin regulates the body’s blood sugar levels, keeping them from getting too high or too low.

When you consume a lot of processed sugar, it is already broken down to a very simple form, so the body converts it to glucose very quickly. This leads to unnatural glucose spikes, which in turn prompts the body to produce insulin rapidly, leading to insulin spikes.

Repeated sugar and insulin spikes over many years is what eventually causes diabetes. Eventually, either the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body can no longer effectively use the insulin it creates. This allows glucose to build up in the blood instead of being used for energy, which creates the symptoms associated with diabetes, including fatigue, constant infections, blurred eye sight, numbness, tingling in the hands or legs, increased thirst, and slowed healing of bruises or cuts.

The most popular treatment for type 2 diabetes is insulin injections. These prescription hormones were first developed by purifying the insulin from a dog’s pancreas. These days, scientists use genetic engineering to produce insulin, using bacteria to produce it. There are also oral medications available which can help insulin receptors become more sensitive to insulin.


If you’re not fond of perpetually sticking yourself with needles or taking oral medications with potential side effects, there are alternative treatment options for diabetics. One such treatment that is showing promise is called Berberine, a quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.

Berberine is a plant alkaloid used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for ages, but now it is making the rounds alternative western treatments for diabetes and digestive problems. Berberine can be naturally found in herbs including Oregon grape, tree turmeric, goldenseal, barberry, goldthread, and phellodendron. The benefits traditionally ascribed to berberine are treatment for high cholesterol, gastrointestinal infections, heart disease, joint ailments, hypertension, high cholesterol and many more.

There are a few exciting benefits of berberine. The herb is safe for long term consumption, is inexpensive, and is easily produced. It represents a wonderful alternative option to harvesting synthetic insulin from bacteria.


In a brand new study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology this past December, researchers tested the anti-diabetic activities of this ancient herb. Scientists have determined that type 2 diabetes (T2D) may be treated with molecules called non-coding RNAs, which are thought to play in important role in regulating the course of insulin resistance. Berberine helps to regulate non-coding RNAs.

Another promising study found that berberine is as effective at treating type 2 diabetes as one of the most popular prescription drugs, metformin. Researchers studies its effect on 36 adults, each newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. For three months, half of the study group was given 500mg of berberine 3 times daily, the other half was given a normally prescribed dose of metformin. At the close of the study, researchers found that “The hypoglycemic effect of berberine was similar to that of metformin”, reducing fasting glucose levels, showing significant decreases in hemoglobin A1c, reduction in postprandial blood glucose, and reduction in plasma triglycerides.

In addition, researchers tested berberine on 48 adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus in another 3 month trial, discovering that “Berberine acted by lowering fasting blood glucose and postprandial blood glucose from 1 week to the end of the trial” reducing hemoglobin A1c from 8.1 percent to 7.3 percent, fasting plasma insulin and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index were reduced by 28.1% and 44.7%, and total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were also significantly decreased.

Perhaps the most promising findings though are the utter lack of adverse side-effects, while medications like metformin have mild to serious side-effects like lactic acidosis, which causes symptoms of unusual tiredness, dizziness, severe drowsiness, muscle pain, difficult breathing, irregular heartbeat, stomach pain with nausea, and much worse. The list of possible side-effects of metformin is extensive.

As berberine continues its path to common use in western medicine, the law of probability suggests that it too will have side-effects for some people, as no compound is a great fit for every single person on Earth. Some people will inevitably have an allergic reaction to berberine, but it will undoubtedly end up being much safer for a larger swath of people suffering with type 2 diabetes than other medications like metformin.

Berberine also couples well and works synergistically with two other herbal extracts in the treatment of diabetes: turmeric and piperine.

Berberine has been used for many centuries in traditional medicines with great results, but as always, check with a doctor to determine whether or not this powerful herb can help you manage your diabetes.

Sciatica and Self Care

Sciatica and Self Care

Man suffering from back pain

Sciatica can be a debilitating medical condition which effects many people around the world. If you have sciatica, you know just how painful and disruptive it can be to your life. Basic activities like walking, sitting, going to the restroom, driving in a car, grocery shopping, having sex, playing with your children all become difficult if not impossible due to pain. It can be extremely frustrating because if it does not resolve after the first 2-4 week, the chances it it recurring and lasting beyond year 1 are quite high. Not only does it take a tremendous toll on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, it can also be destructive to our pocketbooks. Estimates in the US alone show US$128Mill for hospital care, US$730Mill for absenteeism and US$708Mill for disablement.

Sciatica is a relatively common condition. Over the course a lifetime, roughly 15- 40% of us will be affected by it. If we think of these numbers in a different way, that means somewhere between 1 in 4 to more than 1 in 3 of us will be affected by sciatica over the course of our lives. Each year, on average 2-5% of us will develop a new onset of sciatica. It occurs slightly more frequently in male than females. The estimated frequency of sciatica among patients with chronic low back pain goes up substantially and estimated lifetime occurrence of low back pain is between 50-70%.

Unfortunately, these are not the most frustrating numbers with respect sciatica. Once an individual develops sciatica treatment success is rather low and rate of reoccurrence is rather high. Studies have shown that 30-50% of patients with sciatica continue to experience troublesome symptoms of pain, numbness, and tingling at 2 and even 3 years after initial onset of symptoms. As the sciatica becomes more chronic (> 12 weeks), or with recurrent episodes, it becomes less responsive to treatment. Recurrence within one year can occur in as many as 2/3 of all people.

The following are all elements contributing to the process of the pain associated with sciatica:

  1. Structural/Physical changes to the spine
  2. Structural/Physical changes to muscles
  3. Weak muscles
  4. Inflammatory chemicals
  5. Pain Chemicals
  6. Hormone imbalances
  7. Nutritional deficiencies
  8. Dehydration
  9. Inadequate sleep
  10. Mood disturbances

For most people, sciatica responds to self-care measures. Although resting for a day or so may be tempting for you to provide some relief, prolonged inactivity will make your signs and symptoms worse. Remember, the sooner you begin treatment and prevention measures, the more effective they will be.

The following can play a key role in protecting your back and preventing sciatica:

Exercise regularly. To keep your back strong, pay special attention to your core muscles — the muscles in your abdomen and lower back that are essential for proper posture and alignment.

Maintain proper posture when you sit. Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Consider placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level. Do not sit on things in your back pockets, such as a wallet or mobile device.

Use good body mechanics. If you stand for long periods, rest one foot on a stool or small box from time to time. When you lift something heavy, let your lower extremities do the work. Move straight up and down. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.

If you smoke, stop. Smoking promotes disc degeneration and floods your bloodstream with irritating pro-inflammatory chemicals.

If you are overweight, lose weight. Being overweight or obese places extra stress on your spine and discs, weakens the muscles of your back, abdomen, and buttocks, and floods your bloodstream with irritating pro-inflammatory chemicals.

Other self-care treatments that might help include:

Cold packs. Initially, you might get relief from a cold pack placed on the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times a day. Use an ice pack or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel.

Hot packs. After two to three days, apply heat to the areas that hurt. Use hot packs, a heat lamp or a heating pad on the lowest setting. If you continue to have pain, try alternating warm and cold packs. More specifics on contrast hydrotherapy will be given below.

Stretching. Stretching exercises for your low back can help you feel better and might help relieve nerve root compression. Avoid jerking, bouncing or twisting during the stretch, and try to hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. More specific stretches for sciatica will be reviewed below.


Alternative therapies commonly used for low back pain and sciatica include:

Acupuncture. In acupuncture, the practitioner inserts hair-thin needles into your skin at specific points on your body. Some studies have suggested that acupuncture can help back pain, while others have found no benefit. If you decide to try acupuncture, choose a licensed practitioner to ensure that he or she has had extensive training.

Chiropractic. Spinal adjustment (manipulation) is one form of therapy chiropractors use to treat restricted spinal mobility. The goal is to restore spinal movement and, as a result, improve function and decrease pain. Spinal manipulation appears to be as effective and safe as standard treatments for low back pain, but might not be appropriate for radiating pain.


Massage Therapy. Getting regular professional massage therapy is a terrific way to keep muscles, joints, and nerves healthy.

MSM for Joint Pain

MSM for Joint Pain

Joint Pain

For those who suffer from it, joint pain can be incredibly difficult to deal with, as it often lingers long after the day’s work has been done. Unfortunately, everyone experiences some degradation of joint tissues as they age, eventually leading to ailments like osteoarthritis and other painful joint issues.

Osteoarthritis (OA), a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bone wears down, is the most common chronic condition affecting the joints. Essentially, when the cartilage or cushion between the joints breaks down and leads to stiffness, swelling, and often intense pain.

When we’re young, our joints contain a firm, rubbery material called cartilage that covers the ends of our bones. This provides a cushion between bones and a smooth surface that allows them to slide easily. But as the body ages, lifestyle and simply age catch up to the joints and the cartilage breaks down. This deterioration of cartilage causes the joint to swell and stiffens the joint.

As osteoarthritis continues to develop throughout a lifetime, the bones can also break down, sometimes developing growths called bone spurs, causing bits of bone and cartilage to float around in the joint freely. This elicits the body’s release of cytokines and enzymes to the area, which eventually break the cartilage down further. Eventually, osteoarthritis leads to bone on bone contact in the joint, which creates more pain, more stiffness, and makes the joint practically unusable.

Statistics show that half of all people will eventually develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis during their lifetime, and 25 percent will develop symptoms of hip osteoarthritis by the age of 85.

With it affecting nearly everyone at some point in life, there are a lot of treatments available for osteoarthritis, some require a prescription and others do not. For mild OA, the usual treatment is nonprescription pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, and topical creams. Topical pain relievers are great for isolated pain management when just a few joints are involved.


Prescription medication most often prescribed are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). These can be a little dangerous, as they are particularly bad for the stomach. The FDA warns of cardiovascular side effects and gastrointestinal bleeding as two possible risks, and some also include risks of stroke, heart attack, and life threatening skin reactions.

There are natural remedies for OS that, so far, have been found to have little to no risk of dangerous side effects.

One such treatment option is glucosamine-chondroitin supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally found in the joint fluid and thought to trigger cartilage production and reduce inflammation, with some studies showing its ability to relieve moderate to severe pain and slow the progression of OS.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are quite popular supplements that can be found at nearly any drug or grocery store. There is another supplement that is often recommended to be taken alongside Glucosamine and chondroitin that can help boost the effects.

MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a chemical found in many places like green plants, animals, and humans, and can also be created in the laboratory. While it is also a popular supplement for joint pain, there is only a small amount of research to verify its claims. What little research is available, however, speaks favorably of MSM as a possible treatment for OS.

While MSM is normally taken for joint pain, people take it for a whole range of ailments like People also take MSM by mouth for relief of allergies, chronic constipation, “sour stomach”, ulcers, a bowel disease called diverticulosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), mood elevation, obesity, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. MSM is believed to supply sulfur to the body, helping it make other important chemicals.

MSM works by supplementing the body with extra sulfur for creating methionine, which helps in important bodily processes like making other chemicals, forming connective tissue, synthesizing/metabolizing foods and absorbing nutrients to be used for energy. Biologically active sulfur is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is necessary in many bodily functions. MSM is thought to help form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons and ligaments.


One study published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology researched the efficacy of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and boswellic acids (BA) versus glucosamine sulfate (GS) in the treatment of knee arthritis.

Researchers conducted the study on 120 participants with arthritis of the knee for a 60 day period. Each participant was treated daily with either 5mg of MSM and 7.2mg of boswellic acids, or 1500mg GS. At the conclusion of the study, as well as 6 months later, each group was tested for pain using a pain scale, and joint function using the Lequesne Index (LI). Results showed that the group being treated with MSM and BA showed improvements in pain and flexibility at the 6 month mark. Researchers concluded from his study that MSM presents another possible treatment option for arthritis, which until this study was basically being treated with glucosamine supplements.

Another form of MSM being tested is Mega MSM. Researchers studies the effects of Mega MSM on participants for 12 weeks on a group of Chinese participants. 100 males and 50 females were given a dose of Mega MSM, and the study concluded that positive effects were observed, including improved joint function, relief of symptoms of joint degradation, and a general positive improvement in quality of life.

Not only has MSM been found to help with joint pain, but it is also being looked at as a possible treatment for many other ailments throughout the body, making it one of those rare substances that is almost a must have for everyone, providing a lot of great benefits in the body with little to no detrimental effects.

MSM can help rebuild the lining of the digestive tract, reduce inflammation, and is also useful in treating leaky gut syndrome, helping to ebb the flow of harmful particles from a leaky gut which cause inflammation.

We’re all going to get older, and with age comes age related illness and a general degradation of the body, but with proper research and an ever-expanding scientific knowledge of wonderful alternative treatments like MSM, joint pain and arthritis doesn’t have to be debilitating.

Zenith Labs

4610 Prime Parkway
McHenry, IL, 60050, USA

Email Us
+1 (800) 928-1184

Business Hours:6 AM to 5 PM M-F, Sat 6 AM to 2 PM (PST)

Pay Securely with:

Zenith Labs Payment Methods
Copyright ©