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May 12, 2012

Metformin Review at FightAging

Fight Aging - Metformin is a drug that shows up in discussion here every so often. It is thought to be a calorie restriction mimetic, recapitulating some of the metabolic changes caused by the practice of calorie restriction. Its effects on life span in laboratory animals are up for debate and further accumulation of evidence - the results are on balance more promising than the generally dismal situation for resveratrol, but far less evidently beneficial than rapamycin. Like rapamycin, metformin isn't something you'd want to take as though it were candy, even if the regulators stood back to make that possible, as the side effects are not pleasant and potentially serious.

Even if the completely beneficial mechanism of action is split out from the drug's actions - as seems to be underway for rapamycin - the end results will still only be a very modest slowing of aging. You could do better by exercising, or practicing calorie restriction.

Metformin, an oral anti-diabetic drug, is being considered increasingly for treatment and prevention of cancer, obesity as well as for the extension of healthy lifespan. Gradually accumulating discrepancies about its effect on cancer and obesity can be explained by the shortage of randomized clinical trials, differences between control groups (reference points), gender- and age-associated effects and pharmacogenetic factors. Studies of the potential antiaging effects of antidiabetic biguanides, such as metformin, are still experimental for obvious reasons and their results are currently ambiguous.

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The wave of interest, with periodical decays and increasing surges, was associated with the attempts to use antidiabetic biguanides [such as metformin] to control body weight and tumor growth.

Open Access Impact of Aging - Metformin in obesity, cancer and aging: addressing controversies





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