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(15,151 posts)
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 07:28 AM Apr 22

A cheap drug may slow down aging. A study will determine if it works (NPR)

(6 min. audio at link)

A cheap drug may slow down aging. A study will determine if it works

APRIL 22, 20245:01 AM ET
Allison Aubrey


Scientists who study the biology of aging have designed a clinical study, known as The TAME Trial, to test whether metformin can help prevent these diseases and promote a longer healthspan in healthy, older adults.


The FDA approved metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. in the 1990s. Since then, researchers have documented several surprises, including a reduced risk of cancer. "That was a bit of a shock," Austad says. A meta-analysis that included data from dozens of studies, found people who took metformin had a lower risk of several types of cancers, including gastrointestinal, urologic and blood cancers.

Austad also points to a British study that found a lower risk of dementia and mild cognitive decline among people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin. In addition, there's research pointing to improved cardiovascular outcomes in people who take metformin including a reduced risk of cardiovascular death.

As promising as this sounds, Austad says most of the evidence is observational, pointing only to an association between metformin and the reduced risk. The evidence stops short of proving cause and effect. Also, it's unknown if the benefits documented in people with diabetes will also reduce the risk of age-related diseases in healthy, older adults.


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(9,495 posts)
2. If it does, it won't stay cheap. Big Pharma will jack the price up
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 07:41 AM
Apr 22

Million a dose or more. Free markets dontchaknow.


(8,622 posts)
6. I'm not sure you understand what diabetes is.
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 04:40 PM
Apr 22

You're in luck, though. SciShow has a great video to help you out.


Elessar Zappa

(14,568 posts)
8. Consuming sugar doesn't directly give someone diabetes.
Tue Apr 23, 2024, 11:47 AM
Apr 23

It’s either genetic (type 1) or acquired later in life by genes also or being overweight.


(1,588 posts)
4. Side effects are severe
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 09:05 AM
Apr 22

My wife took metformin for a few years. There’s good news (other than slowing aging)… She lost around 30 lbs and her A1C came back into the normal range. But there’s also bad news…chronic cramping and diarrhea.

While there is a brand name version that is made to avoid those side effects it is extremely expensive and most insurance companies won’t pay for it. In fact, my insurer (or the pharmacy management company) just substitutes the generic for the brand name even when the prescription is specifically written for the name brand.

Wonder Why

(3,778 posts)
5. I suffered terribly with diarrhea from metformin and didn't help my A1C much. The best thing that happened to
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 10:01 AM
Apr 22

me was to get off it. I could not travel anywhere.


(8,622 posts)
7. My mom isn't experiencing the side effects quite so intolerably.
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 04:44 PM
Apr 22

She's also not losing weight, either.

My dad, otoh, had the side effects you describe and had to quit. He's only dealing with issues, so the doc said he should continue to stay active and drive bus until it worsens to a point of necessity.

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