Metformin, also known as the glucose eater (Glucophage) was first discovered in 1922. It was first approved and brought to market in 1958-59 in Britain. It was later approved in Canada in 1972. The US Food and Drug Administration joined in the approval process around 1995. It was a long time coming, but so far evidence points that this may be one of the few pharmaceutical synthetic non bio-identical treatments to take seriously.
Here are some notable Metformin facts:
- 2012 – Metformin declared first drug of choice for type 2 diabetes by US and European diabetes experts.
- 2013 – World Health Organization Declares it an Essential Oral Anti-diabetic Medicine.
- UK Prospective Diabetes Study finds reduced risk of myocardial infarction and overall mortality.
- Recent data shows anti-aging benefits [Mahmood K, Naeem M, Rahimnajjad NA. Metformin: the hidden chronicles of a magic drug. Eur J Intern Med 2013;24:20–6.].
- Long-term use has shown to be safe for preventing and delaying type 2 diabetes [Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Long-term safety, tolerability, and weight loss associated with metformin in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Diabetes.
- Since 1990, more than 1,000 studies have been published confirming data regarding metformin’s anti-aging properties, including weight-loss, glucose control and cardiovascular disease defense.
- One study consisting of 8,000 diabetics followed over 10 years showed a 54% lower incidence of all cancers compared to the general population. [ Libby G, Donnelly LA, Donnan PT, Alessi DR, Morris AD, Evans JM. New users of metformin are at low risk of incident cancer: a cohort study among people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2009 Sep;32(9):1620-5.].
Metformin Anti-Aging and Anti-Cancer Benefits
To date, there have been no long-term human studies regarding the appropriate dose of Metformin that delivers the optimal result for anti-aging purposes. However, if we look at the major studies conducted thus far on diabetics, one can assume it safe to follow a typical dose used for type 2 or pre-diabetics.
A typical starting dosage for type 2 diabetics is 500mg of Metformin twice per day, according to the physicians desk reference. The physician will likely keep the dose at that level until follow up. This is a very safe starting dose of Metformin. On the follow up exam, the following blood tests may be used to measure Metformin’s effectiveness on the individual patient:
- AIC – Measures average glucose in blood for last 90 days below 5-6%
- Fasting Insulin – Measures the effectiveness of Metformin to lower fasting insulin levels below 5 micro IU/ML
- CBC Blood Panel – this test looks at cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, kidney and liver function
Your physician will determine which test or combination of tests should be reviewed to best assess you dosage.