Longevity

Longevity Briefs: Metformin, a common drug, helps people with type-2-diabetes live longer than normal people

Posted on 21 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.

Why is this research important: Metformin is a drug which has been used to treat type 2 diabetes for the past 25 years. It works by inhibiting glucose production by the liver, resulting in a reduction of blood sugar levels. The drug has more recently been shown to have the beneficial effect of slowing the process of biological aging.

What did the researchers do: A study published in 2014 looked at 14 years of retrospective data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) to work out the difference of survival rates between type two diabetics treated with metformin, type 2 diabetics treated with sulphonylurea, and matched non-diabetics.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Patients with type two diabetes who were treated with metformin were not only shown to have a better chance of surviving to old age than those treated with other anti-diabetic drugs, such as sulphonylurea, but they also lived longer than non-diabetic people. This was a remarkable finding which prompted Prof. Nir Barzali to choose metformin as the candidate for TAME (targeting ageing with metformin) trial. This is the world’s first drug trial specifically targeting ageing.


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