Metformin For Anti-Aging: Disproved & Dangerous!
If you are a non-diabetic who takes metformin for longevity, I highly recommend you stop immediately. Hear me out, and at the end of the video I’ll share what to do instead.
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SUMMARY OF AUTHOR’S THOUGHTS
If you’re a non-diabetic taking Metformin to potentially extend your lifespan, it’s highly recommended that you stop immediately.
Research has shown that Metformin initially held promise as a way to extend lifespan, but recent data suggests that it likely causes harm for non-diabetics. Studies from 2008 and 2014 have shown that Metformin may increase lifespan in mice and diabetics respectively, but more recent studies have not found any significant benefits for non-diabetic individuals. A study conducted in 2021, which followed over 3,000 high-risk individuals for 21 years, found no significant difference in death rates, cancer or heart disease between those taking Metformin and those taking a placebo. Therefore, it is unlikely that taking Metformin will provide any benefits for low-risk individuals. It’s best to seek alternative methods to potentially extend lifespan.
IN THE AUTHOR’S OWN WORDS…
If you are a non-diabetic who is taking Metformin for longevity purposes, I highly recommend you stop immediately.
Hear me out and at the end of the video I’ll share with you what to do instead.
Metformin initially held great promise as a way to extend lifespan. We had a study published in 2008 showing a 37.8% increase in lifespan and in 2014 we had an observational human study showing that diabetics who were taking metformin appeared to live 15% longer compared to non-diabetics. Since that initial promise, though, data has steadily trickled in suggesting that metformin for non-diabetics probably won’t extend lifespan and actually, we’ve got very good evidence now that it likely causes harm.
So let’s go through everything step by step and then I’ll share what to do instead. Starting with the 2008 paper showing a 37.8% increase in mice lifespan. Now, these mice were shr mice and that stands for spontaneously hypertensive rats. So these rats are genetically inbred and they develop high blood pressure. So yes, for genetically inbred mice who develop high blood pressure, Metformin is probably a great option. But in 2016 the interventions testing program trialled normal mice in three separate labs at the same time and Metformin did not extend lifespan. So the pre-clinical study doesn’t really support the idea that metformin will extend lifespan.
Okay, but what about the human research? Well, taking a closer look at that 2014 paper showing that diabetics who were taking metformin lived 15% longer. This study is what’s called an observational study. It’s looking in the rear view mirror. This means that there’s a lot of other factors that can skew the results. But in October 2021, a prospective interventional study was published. So this is a study that actively made a change and therefore is higher up on the evidence pyramid compared to that 2014 observational study. The new study was part of the diabetes prevention program and it examined over 3,000 patients at high risk for type 2 diabetes. So these were non-diabetics but they were overweight and had high fasting blood sugar levels. Half of them received Metformin and the other half placebo. And over the 21-year follow-up period, there was no significant difference in death rates, cancer, or heart disease. So if Metformin didn’t provide any benefits for these high-risk individuals, it’s highly unlikely that Metformin would provide any benefits for low-risk people overall. Then there’s no clear benefit in either the study or the human data.
Now, I want to be clear, not a day goes by at the clinic where I don’t prescribe Metformin for my pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetic patients. They absolutely should be on Metformin. What I’m talking about here in this video is non-diabetics taking metformin for longevity purposes. But you might be asking, so what? Even if there isn’t a clear benefit for non-diabetics to take Metformin, what’s the harm? Well, there is significant harm actually.
But before we get into that, if you do want to accelerate your longevity journey and support the channel, consider signing up to my Patreon page where all members get early access to my videos, access to my “My Five Years Younger” online program that goes through the optimal diet, exercise, sleep, and skin care routine taken directly from the latest clinical guidelines. Plus, from the “Powerhouse” support level and above, you get access to the Discord server where you can connect with me and other members, where we share the latest longevity research and answer questions. Proceeds go towards funding the Rapamycin clinical study.
In 2019, a human study was published examining older adults at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and they wanted to see what effect metformin would have on exercise performance over a 12-week period. Both groups performed aerobic exercise training and half of them took placebo and the other half metformin. But in the metformin group, their VO2 max, which is a measure of fitness, only went up by half compared to placebo, meaning that metformin significantly blunted the positive effects of exercise. These findings were confirmed by a second study published in June 2022, showing that once again metformin reduced the VO2 max improvement by half. We’ve also got very good human research showing that metformin lowers testosterone levels.
In conclusion, then, the mice and human data don’t show a clear benefit for non-diabetics. Instead, we’ve got very good research showing that metformin blunts the positive effects of exercise and lowers testosterone levels. At the end of the day though, it’s your health, your decision. I just think it’s important that you’re aware of this research. Followers of this channel will know that I used to take metformin when I was initially sucked into the hype. I made the decision to stop about one year ago and removed all of the videos that promoted metformin’s use.
So, you want to know what to do instead? Focus on diet, exercise, sleep, socializing, meditation, and the occasional supplements such as creatine.
SOME ADDITIONAL REFERENCES
Metformin is one of the most popular, off-label, anti-aging prescription drugs. There are other drugs that show promise to extend lifespan, like rapamycin or selegiline, but metformin is arguably the most well-known, and the most common prescription drug that life-extension enthusiasts take in an effort to slow down aging and extend lifespan.
Research on metformin is not at the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, at the end of the beginning.
The drug giveth and the drug taketh away… if any drug could be accused of having a split personality, it’s metformin. The diabetes drug is seen by many as a contributor to Longevity research and development, but as research into its life-extending effects continue, the situation is perhaps not as straightforward as originally thought. We take a spin through some of the latest research and news for the drug that’s been on the market for over 60 years.
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