As most of you know I’ve been on and off Metformin now for eight or nine years. Around age 50 your organs will become insulin resistant, which means blood sugar is uncontrolled and damages the organs. Part of the research on Metformin which doesn’t rely on insulin, is whether it could lower the sugar in your organs where the damage is being done. Initially all the research was very positive about its ability to decrease your chances of getting one of the forms of Alzheimer’s disease, and also decreasing your risk of cancer. Then an article came out that talked about Metformin having a negative effect on the mitochondria, which are the engines that burn fuel in your cells. Another study showed that it prevented you from gaining muscle mass, but when I talked to the leading expert Professor Nir Barzilai he said that although they had seen this, strength was equal regardless of whether you’re on Metformin or not. The final negative study was a worm study which showed that when you gave elderly worms metformin it had a negative effect. As one of my smarter physician scientist friend said, I’m not going to change my habit because of 100 worms. I think that’s right.
Here is another article demonstrating a very positive effect of Metformin on cognition in mice, which are a better comparison than worms as they are mammals. I would say that this story is complicated as most people who have been on it for a long time are type 2 diabetics, and not normal healthy people. It is only now that we’re doing research on normal healthy people on Metformin. The biggest study will be the TAME study at Einstein University, which still hasn’t got started because of a lack of funding. It’s expensive trial that will not yield a business opportunity, as Metformin is generic and costs only $0.05 a day.
My perspective is check with your physician, and then it’s weighing the pluses and minuses. I continue to take Metformin intermittently, while choosing not to take it when I’m doing heavy exercise. I will also say there are differing views than mine.
In this article you are going to see they talk about metformin being a ‘dirty drug’. What that means in the pharmaceutical industry is not that it’s a bad drug. It means it is not specific to one indication and has multiple uses, which can be a positive or a negative. An example would be Viagra, which is a ‘dirty drug’ as it was supposed to be just a blood pressure medication, and I think we’re all aware of its most popular use.