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Metformin: Worth Adding to Your Routine?

In our previous post, we discussed the inclusion of 1 gram of metformin in Dr. Sinclair’s renowned longevity regimen. Now, let’s delve into the reasons behind this choice.

Metformin, also known as dimethyl biguanide, has become one of the world’s most effective and widely used medicines since its discovery in the 1950s. Originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes, researchers noticed a few years ago an intriguing phenomenon—metformin users are living notably healthier lives, independent of its effect on diabetes.

Studies conducted on mice have shown that even a low dose of metformin can increase lifespan by nearly 6 %, equivalent to five extra healthy years for humans. “A study of more than 41,000 metformin users between the ages of 68 and 81 concluded that metformin reduced the likelihood of dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer, frailty, and depression. In one group of already frail subjects, metformin used over the course of nine years reduced dementia by 4 %, depression by 16 %, cardiovascular disease by 19 %, frailty by 24 %, and cancer by 4 %.” “In other studies, the protective power of metformin against cancer has been far greater than that. More than 25 studies have shown a powerful protective effect, sometimes as great as a 40 % lower risk, most notably for lung, colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer.”

Contrary to common assumptions, the impact of metformin on aging may not take years to become noticeable. A study involving a small group of healthy volunteers revealed that the DNA methylation age of blood cells was reversed within a week, and remarkably, just ten hours after taking a single 850 mg pill of metformin.

Any side effects? Well, except for an extremely rare condition called lactic acidosis, the most common side effect is some stomach discomfort. This can be mitigated by taking the medication as a coated tablet or with a meal.

It can’t get better than this?! Yes, it can! In most of the world, diabetes patients pay less than 5$ per month for metformin. In some regions, like Thailand, metformin can be purchased over the counter at an incredibly low cost. However, convincing doctors to prescribe metformin for non-diabetic individuals can still be challenging. 

While the preliminary results of metformin’s effects on aging are promising, further research with larger sample sizes is necessary to validate its long-term impact on aging. Dr. Nir Barzilai, a renowned physician, and geneticist, is leading the charge to make metformin the first drug to be approved to delay the most common age-related diseases by addressing their root cause: aging itself. If Barzilai and his colleagues can show metformin has measurable benefits in the ongoing Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) study, the FDA has agreed to consider aging as a treatable condition. That would be a groundbreaking shift, potentially leading to metformin being prescribed as an anti-aging medication in numerous countries.

Like Dr. Sinclair, will you try implementing 1 g metformin into your daily routine? I certainly will, and have obtained it over the counter. Stay tuned for an update on my results.

Please share this post with friends, family, or anyone affected by age-related diseases mentioned above. Together, we can make a significant impact.

For the nerd: 

Metformin imitates calorie restriction by limiting mitochondrial metabolic reactions, slowing down the conversion of macronutrients into energy. This activates AMPK, a crucial enzyme for energy regulation and mitochondrial function restoration. Furthermore, metformin activates SIRT1, a longevity-associated protein, and exhibits beneficial effects such as inhibiting cancer cell metabolism, enhancing mitochondrial activity, and eliminating misfolded proteins. By activating AMPK and engaging defense mechanisms against aging, metformin promotes organ health, slows down epigenetic information loss, and maintains overall metabolic balance.

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