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Is Metformin For Life

Dear Mark: Metformin For Life Extension, Too Many Meds, Med For Lifting Addict, And Horseback Riding

Dear Mark: Metformin For Life Extension, Too Many Meds, Med For Lifting Addict, And Horseback Riding

41 Comments For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First, does the diabetes drug metformin have life-extending potential for non-diabetics? Then, the final three questions come from the comment board of last week’s Minimum Effective Dose post. First, is it possible to try to do too many minimum effective dose workouts in a week. Yes, absolutely. I explain why a reader who seems to want to incorporate every single routine listed in last week’s post probably shouldn’t try. Next, what if someone truly loves training? Should he or she still try to figure out the minimum effective dose for his workouts? And finally, is horseback riding an effective stand-in for walking? Let’s go: I wondered if you had seen the New Scientist article on the anti-ageing metformin study being undertaken? Increases life expectancy, lowers heart disease and cancer risk …oh, and it’s a diabetes drug, so it works on lowering blood glucose! Which I imagine a primal blueprint would do too… Dan I haven’t seen the New Scientist article (it’s behind a paywall), but I am aware of the generally positive research being done on metformin. It’s becoming increasingly clear that not only diabetes patients may be able to benefit from metformin. Robb Wolf was beating this drum back in 2012. There are many indications of metformin’s life-extending potential: Metformin activates AMPK, the same autophagy pathway activated by exercise, fasting, polyphenol consumption, and reduced calorie intake. Metformin also seems to protect against many of the conditions that kill people, like cancer. It lowers hyperinsulinemia and may protect against insulin-related cancers (breast, colon, etc). Early treatment during adolesence, for example, protects rats against later tumor gro Continue reading >>

Metformin, A Breakthrough In Life Extension Research

Metformin, A Breakthrough In Life Extension Research

As we already covered before, 2016 shows a lot of promise to be a great year for life extension research. One of the most interesting studies planned for this year is the TAME trial[1] (Targeting Aging with Metformin), a study that will test the use of aforementioned compound as a longevity drug in older adults who have cancer, heart disease, or cognitive impairment (or are at risk for these diseases). What is it, exactly? Metformin, also known as Glucophage ®, is an anti-diabetic drug that works by suppressing glucose production in the liver. Unlike the majority of diabetes drugs, however, it does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), even when given to non-diabetics. Metformin is a drug of the biguanide class. As such, it resembles the compounds guanidine and galegine, found in the Galega officinalis plant (aka goat’s rue). Goat’s rue was known to have anti-diabetic activity since ancient times, but it proved too toxic to use. The beginning of the history of metformin, however, has almost nothing to do with type 2 diabetes, but with an even worse disease: malaria. Malaria is a disease caused by a parasitic microorganism of the Plasmodium species. The typical treatment for malaria before the advent of synthetic drugs was quinine, an alkaloid extracted from the bark of the South American tree Cinchona officinalis. Quinine was expensive, and some parasites became resistant to it. Furthermore, the drug was imported from Java and the supply was unpredictable. In the 1930s, researchers began to discover and synthesize alternatives to quinine. A chemist named Francis H. S. Curd started investigating pyrimidine analogs at the ICI laboratories at Blackley, Manchester, after he noticed that some drugs with mild antimalarial activity had a pyrimidine ring in their struc Continue reading >>

Is Metformin An Anti-aging Drug?

Is Metformin An Anti-aging Drug?

As we age, we all lose sensitivity to insulin and begin, gradually or rapidly, to poison our bodies with excess sugar in the blood. This happens to almost everyone, and it is only when the symptom is particularly severe that it is diagnosed as (type 2) diabetes. Metformin is a drug that has been used to treat diabetes for 50 years, but it is only recently that epidemiologists have begun to notice that patients on metformin have lower rates of cancer and heart disease. Of course, cancer and heart disease were elevated to begin with in diabetics. But the question has been asked: will metformin provide a benefit for “normal” aging, and lower cancer risk for people who are not diagnosed with diabetes? Vladimir Anisimov from University of Glasgow has proposed that it’s time to test metformin for its anti-cancer and life extension potential for non-diabetics. He is a biostatistician, an epidemiologist and not a physiologist. But a good part of the reason to think that this might work comes from theory. Metformin and Caloric Restriction The only intervention that is known to consistently extend life span across many different species is caloric restriction. Animals seem to be widely adapted to stabilize their populations by suppressing death from aging under conditions of starvation (and raising the internally-programmed death rate when there is plenty of food). How does the individual metabolism detect when it is starving? The signal comes mainly from the insulin metabolism. The body responds to chronically elevated insulin by decreasing sensitivity to insulin, and raising insulin levels yet further in a positive feedback loop that cascades toward death. Metformin interrupts this cycle in a manner similar to lowered food intake. Since most people don’t tolerate chroni Continue reading >>

Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?

Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?

The most common medication worldwide for treating diabetes is metformin (Glumetza, Riomet, Glucophage, Fortamet). It can help control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s available in tablet form or a clear liquid you take by mouth before meals. Metformin doesn’t treat the underlying cause of diabetes. It treats the symptoms of diabetes by lowering blood sugar. It also increases the use of glucose in peripheral muscles and the liver. Metformin also helps with other things in addition to improving blood sugar. These include: lowering lipids, resulting in a decrease in blood triglyceride levels decreasing “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) increasing “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) If you’re taking metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to stop. Instead, you may be able to manage your condition by making certain lifestyle changes, like losing weight and getting more exercise. Read on to learn more about metformin and whether or not it’s possible to stop taking it. However, before you stop taking metformin consult your doctor to ensure this is the right step to take in managing your diabetes. Before you start taking metformin, your doctor will want to discuss your medical history. You won’t be able to take this medication if you have a history of any of the following: alcohol abuse liver disease kidney issues certain heart problems If you are currently taking metformin, you may have encountered some side effects. If you’ve just started treatment with this drug, it’s important to know some of the side effects you may encounter. Most common side effects The most common side effects are digestive issues and may include: diarrhea vomiting nausea heartburn abdominal cramps Continue reading >>

Metformin

Metformin

Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency medical treatment); a coma; or heart or liver disease. Taking certain other medications with metformin may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Keveyis), methazolamide, topiramate (Topamax, in Qsymia), or zonisamide (Zonegran). Tell your doctor if you have recently had any of the following conditions, or if you develop them during treatment: serious infection; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or fever; or if you drink much less fluid than usual for any reason. You may have to stop taking metformin until you recover. If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, or any major medical procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to have any x-ray procedure in which dye is injected, especially if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or have or have had liver disease or heart failure. You may need to stop taking metformin before the procedure and wait 48 hours to restart treatment. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop taking metformin and when you should start taking it again. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking metformin and call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, or discomfort; nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; decreased appetite; deep and rapid breathing or shortness of breath; dizzi Continue reading >>

A Diabetes Medication That Costs 6 Cents A Pill Could Be A Key To Living Longer

A Diabetes Medication That Costs 6 Cents A Pill Could Be A Key To Living Longer

American Federation for Aging Research Deputy Scientific Director Nir Barzilai, MD, discusses the promise of the FDA-approved drug Metformin to delay multiple age-related conditions at a 2016 event. AP A generic drug that's used to treat type 2 diabetes could help people live longer, healthier lives. Metformin, a drug that's been approved in the US for decades, is typically taken as a pill every day by people with diabetes. But now researchers are looking into whether the drug could hold the key to living longer — and early research seems promising. Dr. Nir Barzilai, the director of Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, has been researching the drug, with the hopes of one day getting it approved as an anti-aging treatment by the FDA. If future research yields good results, metformin could become a much cheaper option than other approaches biotech companies are taking to help us live healthier, longer lives. A potential anti-aging drug that's been around for ages Metformin has been around in one form or another for centuries — Wired reports that it's actually a modified version of a compound found in the flower Galega officinalis, which you may know as French lilac. It was approved by the FDA for diabetes treatment of type 2 diabetes in 1994 (not type 1, which is the result of an autoimmune disorder) though it was available in other countries before then. Today, metformin one of the most popular prescriptions in the US, according to GoodRx. The drug can cost as little as $4, or 6 cents a pill. Since metformin was approved for diabetes, it has started to be used off-label to treat conditions like pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes, and polycystic ovarian disease. Some retrospective studies and preclinical work have indica Continue reading >>

Metformin - For Life Or Just For Xmas?

Metformin - For Life Or Just For Xmas?

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Firstly - I've been a lurker on the forums since first diagnosed type 2 in July and wanted to express thanks for all the excellent advice in the forums. I guess having some time off has given me the chance to finally write down some of my worries/concerns, so here we go : Like lots of you the initial diagnosis was a shock at 42 and has led me to try and change my ways. I was put straight on Metformin (3x500mg per day) along with Simvastin (statin) and Ramparil (BP) - and given my weight 119kg (18.7 stone) and the shock of it all I didn't protest. Fast forward 6 months and I've lost 30kg(4.7st) through a fairly restrictive 1200cal low(ish) carb (target sub 100g daily) diet. Also, by nature I'm a geek, so I've measured *everything* I've eaten in that period. The local PTC won't give test strips to me, but I've funded my own and am testing first thing in the morning before food and in the evening (typically 2-4 hours after eating evening meal). These readings settled down to a weekly average of 5.2-5.6 in the mornings and 5.2-6.0 of an evening after about 3 months and have kept at those levels. In that whole period I've been lucky enough to have had three appointments with local diabetic nurse but I'm feeling a little lost. Post the diagnosois I've felt I'm not getting any form of personal care but having been put into a generic bucket and prescribed based on that. In my last appointment I confessed to going down the low carb route and I was admonished for not taking the standard advice NHS is giving. When I explained I'd done this in an informed way and done some serious reading and mentioned diabetes.co.uk (a resource give to me by them in intiial info Continue reading >>

Metformin For Prediabetes

Metformin For Prediabetes

Prediabetes is, for many people, a confusing condition. It’s not quite Type 2 diabetes — but it’s not quite nothing, either. So how concerned should you be about it? For years, the jargon-filled names given to this condition — impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) — may have made the task of taking it seriously more difficult. But in 2002, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, inaugurated the term “prediabetes” to convey the likely result of not making diet or lifestyle changes in response to this diagnosis. In 2003, the threshold for prediabetes was lowered from a fasting glucose level of 110 mg/dl to one of 100 mg/dl. Then, in 2008, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) began recommending the drug metformin for some cases of prediabetes — specifically, for people under age 60 with a very high risk of developing diabetes, for people who are very obese (with a body-mass index, or BMI, of 35 or higher), and for women with a history of gestational diabetes. The ADA also said that health-care professionals could consider metformin for anyone with prediabetes or an HbA1c level (a measure of long-term blood glucose control) between 5.7% and 6.4%. But according to a recent study, metformin is still rarely prescribed for prediabetes. The study, published in April in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that only 3.7% of people with prediabetes were prescribed metformin over a three-year period, based on data from a large national sample of adults ages 19 to 58. According to a Medscape article on the study, 7.8% of people with prediabetes with a BMI of 35 or higher or a history of gestational diabetes were prescribed metformin — still a very low rate for t Continue reading >>

Common Drug Has The Potential To Slow Aging, Boost Cancer Recovery

Common Drug Has The Potential To Slow Aging, Boost Cancer Recovery

Some exciting research from the University of Montreal has found that the drug metformin, commonly prescribed for diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), has the potential to slow aging and fight cancer. The study, published in Aging Cell, found that metformin reduces the body's production of inflammatory cytokines, which accelerate aging. Metformin is the generic name for an oral drug that was approved by the FDA in 1994 to lower blood sugar. Brand names include Glucophage and Glucophage XR (Bristol-Myers Squibb), Fortamet (Shionogi), Glumetza and Glumetza XR (Santarus), and Riomet (Ranbaxy). Metformin was later found to stimulate ovulation, regulate periods, and increase fertility in women with PCOS and is now commonly prescribed for women whose PCOS hasn't responded to hormonal treatment alone. Found: New Potential to Slow Aging, and Slow Tumor Growth Cytokines have an important function in the body, activating the immune system to fight infection. But because they work by an inflammatory process, when they're overproduced they put the body into a state of chronic inflammation, which causes cells to age faster. Interestingly, the University of Montreal study found that the molecular pathways used to cause these anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits are not the same pathways used when metformin treats diabetes or PCOS. Previous research has suggested the anti-aging and anti-cancer possibilities of metformin, but had not gone as far as to document the mechanism that makes this happen. (Here's my previous reporting on how the inflammatory response ups the risk of stroke and other potentially fatal conditions.) Should You Ask Your Doctor About Metformin? If you're interested in Metformin's anti-aging potential in general, I doubt right now you'll get far asking your Continue reading >>

Metformin For Life? | Sparkpeople

Metformin For Life? | Sparkpeople

you make a very good point. People who say they have tried diet alone usually refer to the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association and that is still much too high in carbs. Cutting down to 20-50 grams/day would work for a much larger percentage of type 2 diabetics if they only tried it for a couple of months and if it works keep doing it for life. I took metformin for 9 years. Not quite for life. Like you I just happened to bump into low carb as my way of managing type 2 diabetes after 9 years of freaking pills. Only one of my doctors over the years suggested diet as a management tactic. He did send me to a dietician, but looking back, the dietician really didn't know that carbs are the things to avoid to manage blood sugar. Grrrrrr. Years lost. Those drug commercials on TV that say "when diet and exercise aren't enough ..." True, but who tells you what the diet should be. Now medication free, and eating low carb FOREVER. Starting weight : 195.0 pounds (June 7, 2012) Final weight : 168.2 pounds (July 23, 2013) When I started on the Metformin they had me start with the 500 mg for 2 weeks, then add the 2nd 500 to it. I did have problems then, so I dropped back to the 500 for a couple more weeks and started feeling better with it then. I didn't even have a doctor when I was diagnosed and didn't know that it was carbs that were the problem, just the sugar. I threw out and gave away just about everything I had with sugar in it. Now I sometimes will go ahead and have something with sugar, but I try to not have too much of it and I will eat protein more like a piece of meat for my breakfast or a small omelet (I can't eat more than 1-1 1/2 eggs in the omelet. It was 3 months before I saw the Diabetes Educator and she went through the diet. Before then I got on an Continue reading >>

Could A Pill Put The Brakes On Aging?

Could A Pill Put The Brakes On Aging?

March 29, 2017 -- The No. 1 risk factor for all the big diseases -- cancer , heart disease , Alzheimer’s -- is aging. But instead of treating the diseases, could a drug treat the aging process itself? That’s the idea behind a growing area of research drawing extensive support from both government and private donors, including millions from Silicon Valley executives like Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. While federal science agency budgets have struggled in the past decade, funding at the National Institute on Aging has risen more than 50% since 2007. Researchers are seeking a drug to push back the most serious consequences of aging -- and keep people healthy, active, and alert years longer, a notion they call “health span.” “I’m not interested in creating a population that lives to be 200, because that would be a problem for the world we live in,” says Corinna Ross, PhD, a biologist at Texas A&M University in San Antonio. “But if we can keep people out of nursing home care and reduce the number of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients, that would be ideal.” What scientists know about aging has advanced sharply in the past 2 decades as they learn more about what drives the aging process within cells. With the race on to find an anti-aging pill, two of the most promising ones are drugs that already exist: metformin and rapamycin. Doctors have prescribed metformin, the most common drug to treat type 2 diabetes , for about 60 years. But it’s received new attention as a possible anti-aging drug after researchers in Britain found that people with diabetes who took it outlived some of their peers who did not have the disease by 15%. “They compared them to a whole bunch of people who were matched for weight and smokin Continue reading >>

Forget The Blood Of Teens. This Pill Promises To Extend Life For A Nickel A Pop

Forget The Blood Of Teens. This Pill Promises To Extend Life For A Nickel A Pop

Nir Barzilai has a plan. It’s a really big plan that might one day change medicine and health care as we know it. Its promise: extending our years of healthy, disease-free living by decades. And Barzilai knows about the science of aging. He is, after all, the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. And, as such, he usually talks about his plan with the caution of a seasoned researcher. Usually. Truth is, Barzilai is known among his colleagues for his excitability—one author says he could pass as the older brother of Austin Powers—and sometimes he can’t help himself. Like the time he referred to his plan—which, among other things, would demonstrate that human aging can be slowed with a cheap pill—as “history-making.” In 2015, he stood outside of the offices of the Food and Drug Administration, flanked by a number of distinguished researchers on aging, and likened the plan to a journey to “the promised land.” Last spring, Barzilai traveled to the Vatican to discuss the plan at a conference on cellular therapies. It was the second time he’d been invited to the conference, which is a pretty big deal in the medical world. At the last one, in 2013, he appeared alongside a dwarf from Ecuador, a member of a community of dwarfs whose near immunity to diabetes and cancer has attracted the keen interest of researchers. The 2016 conference featured a number of the world’s top cancer scientists and included addresses from Pope Francis and Joe Biden. That Barzilai was invited was a sign not only of his prominence in his field but also of how far aging research, once relegated to the periphery of mainstream science, has come in recent years. That progress has been spurred by huge investments from Sil Continue reading >>

Worlds First Anti-ageing Drug Could See Humans Live To 120

Worlds First Anti-ageing Drug Could See Humans Live To 120

Worlds first anti-ageing drug could see humans live to 120 Pensioners could be as healthy as 50 year olds in the future if tests on metformin perform as well as expectedCredit:ALAMY The worlds first anti-ageing drug will be tested on humans next year in trials which could see diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons consigned to distant memory. Scientists now believe that it is possible to actually stop people growing old as quickly and help them live in good health well into their 110s and 120s. Although it might seem like science fiction, researchers have already proven that the diabetes drug metformin extends the life of animals, and the Food and Drug Administration in the US has now given the go ahead for a trial to see if the same effects can be replicated in humans. This would be the most important medical intervention in the modern era, an ability to slow ageing Dr Jay Olshansky, University of Illinois Chicago If successful it will mean that a person in their 70s would be as biologically healthy as a 50 year old. It could usher in a new era of geroscience where doctors would no longer fight individual conditions like cancer, diabetes and dementia, but instead treat the underlying mechanism ageing. Scottish ageing expert Professor Gordon Lithgow of the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California, is one of the study advisors. If you target an ageing process and you slow down ageing then you slow down all the diseases and pathology of ageing as well, he said Thats revolutionary. Thats never happened before. I have been doing research into ageing for 25 years and the idea that we would be talking about a clinical trial in humans for an anti-ageing drug would have been though inconceivable. But there is every reason to believe its possible. The future is taki Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Drug Metformin Increase Number Of Healthy Years, Extend Life?

Can Diabetes Drug Metformin Increase Number Of Healthy Years, Extend Life?

Can Diabetes Drug Metformin Increase Number of Healthy Years, Extend Life? The oral medicine metformin may be able to slow aging, increasing the number of healthy years a person can live and potentially expanding human lifespan to 120, according to the premise of a new study recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and set begin in the United States next winter. Metformin is the most widely prescribed diabetes drug in the world, with over 61 million prescriptions filled in 2012 in the U.S. alone. Previous research in worms has indicated that metformin may slow the aging process by mimicking the effects of a low-calorie diet . And a study from Cardiff University found that people with diabetes who were taking the medicine lived longer than those without the condition who were not taking metformin. The drugs anti-aging properties appear, at least in part, to be due to its effect of increasing the amount of oxygen that is released into cells . To further evaluate whether the medicine can lengthen lifespan and reduce disease in humans, researchers from various institutions in the United States are currently recruiting 3,000 people who are 70 to 80 years old and who have or are at risk of developing cancer, heart disease, or dementia. The trial, which is known as the Targeting Aging With Metformin (TAME) study, is expected to last from five to seven years. If you target the aging process and slow down aging, then you slow down all the disease and pathology of aging as well, notes study advisor and aging expert Gordon Lithgow, PhD . I have been doing research into aging for 25 years and the idea that we would be talking about a clinical trial in humans for an anti-aging drug would have been thought inconceivable. But there is every reason to believe i Continue reading >>

Can Metformin Extend Your Life?

Can Metformin Extend Your Life?

A new research effort will try to see if the diabetes drug combats the effects the aging Three or four years ago, a buzz started building that metformin could be a potential fountain of youth. In 2011, a group of researchers in oncology in St. Petersburg, Russia, found that metformin could prevent the advancement of cancer in mice, thereby increasing their lifespans . In 2012, several online health advocates passionately accused the FDA of sinister motivations for preventing the makers of metformin from advertising it as an anti-cancer and anti-vascular disease medicine. There appears to be no such conspiracy. This year, the FDA registered a human trial of metformin for a placebo-controlled study involving people with diabetes and those without to test whether the drug can promote overall longevity. The trial will be undertaken at the Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York, and is at publication time still recruiting participants. If the results prove favorable, it will mark another dynamic chapter in the storied history of the drug. Metformin is said to have first been created in France in the 16th century, when it was made from an extract of the plant galega officinalis, known as goats rue or French lilac. As an herbal remedy, it was used in treating a urinary disorder with a name derived from Greek that meant sieve, which may in fact be whats known in modern times as diabetes insipidus. French pharmacy labs began to make a synthetic formulation in the 1920s, but then, according to the lore, the discovery of insulin overshadowed it as a more promising diabetes remedy. Efforts to develop the synthetic version diminished in the worldwide financial fallout from the 1929 Wall Street crash, and was abandoned during WWII German occupation of France. Continue reading >>

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