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Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017 May;20(5):511-515. doi: 10.22038/IJBMS.2017.8675.

Berberine protects against metformin-associated lactic acidosis in induced diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Medicine Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan.
Faculty of Medicine and Allied Medical Sciences Isra University, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan.
Department of Pathology Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan.



Causality of occurrence of metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA) is a clinical problem. Currently, there is no drug available to prevent MALA. The present study was conducted to evaluate the protective effect of Berberine (BBR) against MALA in induced diabetic rat model.


A sample of 75 healthy male Wistar rats was randomly selected according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. 75 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into a control and 4 experimental groups. Streptozotocin (STZ) in citrate buffer (pH 4.5) at a dose of 45 mg/kg was injected for induction of diabetes mellitus and rats achieving fasting blood glucose >250 mg/dl were included. Blood samples were collected 18 hr after the last dose of metformin and berberine. Ethical approval was taken before the study was conducted. Staistix 10.0 (USA) software was used for data analysis.


Berberine decreased MALA. Metformin, metformin + BBR 50 mg/kg bwt, and metformin + BBR 100 mg/kg bwt showed serum lactate as 1.87±0.4 mmol/lL, 1.62 ± 0.44 mmol/l and 1.47± 0.45 mmol/l, respectively (P=0.0001). Insulin resistance and liver enzymes were improved in BBR treated rats.


The present study reports berberine protects against MALA in streptozocin-induced diabetes mellitus.


Berberine; Insulin resistance; Lactic acidosis; Metformin

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