Longevity

Longevity Briefs: Metformin: The first anti-aging drug?

Posted on 2 October 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Summary of the effects of metformin supplementation in invertebrate (Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster) and vertebrate models (rodents, mainly mice).
Summary of the effects of metformin supplementation in invertebrate (Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster) and vertebrate models (rodents, mainly mice).

Why is this research important: Metformin is a drug which has been used to treat type 2 diabetes for the past 25 years. Metformin works by enhancing the body’s ability to effectively utilise insulin, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. The drug has more recently been shown to have the beneficial effect of slowing the process of biological aging, and is currently the target of the TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) trial.

What did the researchers do: In this review, researchers take a look at the current clinical and experimental data focussing on the potential of metformin to be an anti-aging drug. The authors discuss the evidence of metformin’s impact on age-related diseases, all-cause mortality and healthspan extension.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: The study presents four main highlights from there investigation:

  • Metformin positively affects the course of age-related diseases.
  • Metformin-users are at a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer.
  • Metformin increases lifespan in model organisms.
  • Metformin modulates molecular hallmarks of ageing.

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