‘Nature’s own Ozempic’ sparks dangerous weight-loss trend on TikTok

Social media influencers are promoting a plant-based weight-loss supplement dubbed ‘nature’s Ozempic,’ prompting health experts to issue warnings over the safety and effectiveness of the so-called slimming capsules.

TikTok videos highlighting the seemingly wonderous slimming benefits of berberine capsules have racked up millions of views.

Some have even nicknamed it ‘nature’s Ozempic’ after the miracle slimming jab, with users raving about its ‘transformative’ effect.

According to the Daily Mail, the hashtag #berberine has had up to 58 million views on TikTok, with one user saying in a video seen 2.7 million times: “I’m on the way to get Nature’s Ozempic, it’s this supplement called berberine.”

“The side effects don’t seem that bad, some diarrhoea, some stomach upset, I’m down for a little bit of that.”

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Berberine is an organic compound found in plants such as goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape and tree turmeric.

Available to buy online, including on Amazon or eBay, it is normally taken as a dietary supplement.

But medical experts are warning that when taken solely for weight loss, the tablets “can be dangerous” and raised serious concerns over its effectiveness.

Study shows ‘weight gain’ on supplement

Dr Simon Cork, a Senior Lecturer in Physiology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, told MailOnline: “I have only been able to find one clinical trial using berberine for weight loss.”

In the “very small” trial involving just seven people, “there was no significant decrease in body weight observed over six weeks, and indeed some patients gained weight during the study,” he added.

Tom Quinn, director of external affairs at the eating disorder charity Beat, added: “Weight-loss supplements like berberine can be very attractive to people with eating disorders as they seemingly offer fast results.

“However, using supplements can be dangerous as they can exacerbate eating disorder behaviours and make people more unwell.”

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