Objective To observe the effect of berberine on insulin resistance induced by high fat diet in rats. Methods Normal male SD rats (8 weeks old) were divided into two groups taking either normal chow (NC, n=9) or high fat diet (HF, n=20). After fourteen weeks, HF rats were divided into two groups. Ten rats continued to take high fat diet. Another ten rats took additional berberine gavage (HF+B,150mg/kg weight once a day). Six weeks later, oral glucose tolerance test and insulin tolerance test were performed for estimating insulin sensitivity. Results The body weight, liver weight and epididyaml fat pads weight of HF group were significantly higher than those of HF+B group and NC group (all P<0.01). Fasting plasma glucose, insulin and plasma glucose, insulin 2h after taking glucose in HF+B rats were significantly lower than those in HF rats (all P<0.01). Plasma glucose and insulin levels at all time points in HF rats were significantly higher than those in NC rats. Homa-IR of HF group was markedly higher than that of HF+B group (P<0.01). The glucose-lowering effects after the administration of insuin (0.5u/kg intrapenitoneally) at all time points in HF+B rats were stronger than those in HF rats with 23% and 7% reduction at 15min respectively. Conclusion Long term high fat diet resulted in insulin resistance. Berberine was able to reverse insulin resistance through promoting peripheral tissue uptaking of glucose and decreasing insulin, which would be quite ideal for the intervention of IGT.