Dana Bowling didn’t want to lose weight when she started taking metformin back in 2010. The 28-year old had polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which prevented her from ovulating. She wanted to have a family.
To start her cycle, her doctor prescribed Metformin, an old diabetes drug. It costs between 10 and 20 cents per pill. Bowling lost 10 pounds in just a few months. This was a big difference from her 5-foot frame.
She said that she felt like her weight had fallen off. “And I don’t remember changing my diet.”
Metformin can help you lose between five and 15. The drug alters the body’s sugar regulation, which often decreases a person’s appetite. It mimics the benefits that come with fasting and exercise by activating a key cellular cleanup process and renewal process in your body called autophagy. Also, it rejiggers a person’s metabolism. An upset stomach is the most common side effect.
The World Health Organization considers the once-daily pill a vital public-health tool in fighting type 2 diabetes. It has listed it as one of the essential medicines that should always be available in a modern, functioning healthcare system.
A growing number of doctors and scientists believe that the $5-per-month drug, which is derived from a compound more than 100 years ago in common French Lilacs, could do more than help patients lose weight and improve their blood sugar. They believe it can slow down ageing.
Metformin’s effects upon metabolism, cells and how our bodies fight viruses have attracted the attention of clinicians, biohackers, academics and clinicians. ” They believe it might improve how we age, slowing the arrival of cancer and cognitive decline, and Bryan Johnson is a successful software entrepreneur. He recently made headlines because he uses the drug to stop precancerous bowel polyps (popping up in his colon) and rectum. (Some studies suggest that diabetes patients who take metformin study published in 2022 showed that metformin was a good preventative against severe COVID and long-term COVID. These antiviral benefits may extend beyond COVID: A large 2022 study of US vets with pneumonia showed that those who took metformin were less likely to die.
Although metformin’s effects on ageing and diseases are still not fully understood by researchers, it is safe to assume that they are.
Metformin is often used to treat diabetes through weight loss. But, an anti-ageing researcher believes it could do more.
Carolyn Bramante is a metformin researcher at the University of Minnesota who says she prescribes metformin to patients with diabetes, prediabetes and other weight problems.
Although it doesn’t work for everyone, some patients can lose as much as 10% of their initial weight or more.
This is how Nir Barzilai came across metformin eight years ago. He has been prescribed the drug to reduce prediabetes, excess weight, and other conditions.
Barzilai has lost weight, but he still takes metformin. Barzilai, a 67-year old, directs the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He believes that the drug can be used as a prophylactic for ageing, which will help people live longer and healthier lives.
He said, “I’m no longer prediabetic, I’m still not obese, but I don’t take out metformin.” “The evidence is so overwhelming to me.”
In a 2020 paper that he co-authored in the journal cell Metabolism Barzilai discusses how metformin can help cells to behave better in an ageing body. The drug may delay stem-cell ageing, promote more autophagy and reduce telomere lengthening. These are all factors that can deter the effects of ageing. This paper also shows that metformin may prevent diseases like oxidative stress.
Metformin is now a regular part of daily life for many wealthy doctors.
Metformin is prescribed by an infectious-disease expert for weight management.
David Boulware is an infectious disease expert and conducts research in Minnesota on metformin. He says that he began taking the drug “off and on” six months ago. After he had contracted COVID, he realized that the drug could possibly have antiviral properties based on the research of his own team, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine 2022. He hoped that it would decrease his chances of getting a severe case and ending up in the hospital.
He then “researched it more” and decided that he would continue to take metformin for weight control. He has lost 10 pounds already, but he would like to lose another 10.
Boulware doesn’t believe metformin alone can make people live longer and healthier lives. Many scientific studies on metformin for age-related problems like blurry vision and cancer indicate that it might have decent antiaging properties. However, they often have boilerplate language about inconclusive evidence or emphasize the need to continue research.
Although the drug has been shown to have anti-ageing properties in roundworms, mice and fruit flies, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good news for us humans. Most evidence supporting metformin’s health benefits has been done in patients with type 2 diabetes. This is not the case for normal blood sugar.
Boulware believes that maintaining a healthy weight is good to age — and that metformin can help.
“If you aren’t obese, you will live longer.” He said, “Yes.” A healthy weight is a good thing.
A new class of anti-ageing drugs could be born from a major study on metformin.
Barzilai is currently launching a new study called “Targeting Aging with Metformin” (or TAME). Barzilai is currently launching a large, randomized, controlled study of 3,000 older adults in 14 hospitals across the country to answer the question: Does metformin help people remain healthy and sharp into old age?
Once TAME is funded (Barzilai raised $23 million of the $75 million he needs to fund the trial over five years), it will evaluate metformin’s effect on the incidence of a group of age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and cancer.
He stated, “We are only looking at one disease at a time and not realizing that the biology behind the diseases is the biology of ageing.” “If we can stop ageing’s biology, then we will have fewer diseases. That’s a great indicator.
Currently, both FDA scientists and insurance companies don’t recognize ageing as a condition. Big pharmaceutical companies are not interested in “treating it.” Barzilai’s research, if it is successful, would be the FDA’s first to accept the evidence for a new anti-ageing drug class called “geroprotectors”, which have never been approved medically in the US.
The regenerative-medicine scientist and ageing expert Marco Quarta said that TAME could be an exciting first step toward establishing credibility for the field, as the first large clinical trial “really looking at ageing as a syndrome.”
Quarta, who is the CEO and co-founder of Rubedo Live Sciences, an anti-ageing startup, said that “it really can pave a way for a new approach.” This is an exciting new field.
Metformin can cause a variety of health problems, especially in young people.
Quarta believes that metformin should not be used for anti-ageing until more research is done. He said that metformin is not a miracle cure.
Metformin can make some people lose a lot of weight, while others may not notice any difference. You may experience rare problems like liver damage or lactic-acid buildup within the bloodstream. It has been shown to decrease testosterone levels and inhibit muscle growth. One 2022 study suggests that it could harm men’s eggs in a manner that increases the likelihood of developing birth defects.
Quarta stated, “I would suggest that people be cautious until we have done the research to prove or disprove metformin’s benefits and who can benefit from it in what conditions.”
Barzilai believes that off-label metformin should be restricted to people already suffering from the effects of ageing. “I am horrified that young people (40 years old) would consider taking metformin to prolong their lives,” he stated in a recent Tweet. He also expressed concern about Metformin’s effects on testosterone, muscle and other hormones.
Barzilai doesn’t wait for the results of his trial regarding older people. Barzilai encourages his family and friends to ask their doctors about metformin immediately. He and his wife both take it daily.
He stated, “More than ever, the evidence really overwhelms.” “I feel the FDA is really a pain, and the stomach hurts.”