Can This Common Diabetes Drug Also Slow Aging?

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According to Healthline, a prescription medication called Metformin—it’s used to lower blood sugar levels in those with diabetes—may have another benefit.

Most specifically used for those with Type 2 diabetes (T2D), Metformin is often commonly prescribed when diet and exercise alone are not balancing glucose levels. However, according to recent research, this medication can do more than just balance blood levels. Healthline reports that the drug may slow down aging in the body by lowering the risk of some diseases and bodily processes that are known to cause damage to the body.

In a 2020 review of research, Metformin was found to increase life span and slow health declines from age in animals. Another study shows that Metformin may also cause a hormesis effect by triggering an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase. This enzyme helps break down extra lipids or fats and sugars in the body, which can often be harmful.

While Metformin is used off-label for conditions it’s not officially approved for—think polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and Type 1 diabetes—the drug is only approved for T2D. Studies on its ability to slow signs of aging as well as other potential benefits are still ongoing.

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