Many diabetics are taking the medication metformin. The medication was approved over 60 years ago by the FDA to treat diabetes. It’s an effective medication because it helps to lower blood sugar that’s produced by the liver.
Chinese researchers now suggest that metformin may help slow down the aging process and extend the lifespan of human cells in vitro. Metformin has been showing promise in recent years with its ability to extend the lifespan of some animal models, but it is unknown whether the same can be said for human cells.
The researchers found that a chronic low-dosage of metformin could delay cellular aging in humans, specifically diploid fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells.
Metformin may be the first potential anti-aging drug because of its ability to activate AMPK. AMPK is an enzyme inside cells that helps lower blood sugar, but some studies have found that by activating AMPK, you can prevent, or even reverse, the effects of aging tied to shortening life.
In alternative studies, metformin has shown a wide array of benefits that are greater than just blood sugar control. These benefits include facilitating DNA repair and increasing the production of longevity-promoting molecules in cells.
The research isn’t suggesting that you should ask for a prescription of metformin from your doctor to slow down aging, but rather points to the possibility that one day we may have a pill that can help slow down the aging process that is generally safe to use. In the meantime, if you are diabetic, you may be experiencing some added benefits aside from sugar control.
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