Researchers believe that Metformin, a drug that has already been widely used to treat diabetes for about 60 years, may have a large number of additional health benefits. It is now being tested on humans for its anti-ageing properties. Nir Barzilai, MD, director of the Institute for Ageing Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in The Bronx, is currently engaged in a clinical study and assessment of metformin for endurance, to analyze how it may effect metabolic and cellular processes correlated with the development of age-related conditions. These conditions include inflammation, oxidative, diminished autophagy, cell senescence and apoptosis. Experts are precisely reviewing whether metrformin use can possibly improve gene expression profile in older adults with damaged glucose tolerance to that of younger individuals.
“We want to change the habit of treating very accumulating diseases with accumulating therapy for the elderly.” Barzilia told Medical Economics. “We would rather prevent ageing and by that prevent the onset of multiple diseases,” she added. According to lead researcher, Craig Currey of Cardiff University, metformin has already been demonstrated to offer benefits against cancer and cardiovascular disease . A 2014 research study has already divulged that patients cured with metroformin, rather than sulphonylureas, had longer lifespans, and recommended that metroformin may also be an aid to patients without diabetes.
Metformin increases the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell, which appears to boost robustness and longevity. It works by suppressing glucose production in the liver and increasing insulin sensitivity, therefore benefitting patients with type 2 diabetes.
To analyse the advantage outside treatment of diabetes, the Food and Drug Administration has green-lighted a clinical trial in the U.S. for what has become known as the Targeting Ageing with Metformin (TAME) study. The researchers will give Metformin to about 3,000 elderly people, who either suffer from or have a high risk of developing diseases like cancer, heart disease, or cognitive problems. They’ll then track them over six years to see if the drug prevents ageing-related diseases that were not pre-exsisting. They’ll also be looking to see if it prevents diabetes and lengthens their life spans. It will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
Metformin has already been demonstrated to slow the ageing process in certain microbes and mammals. Barzilai expects that it will prove useful in stemming ageing and disease breakthrough or advancement, and that the FDA will approve it for that indication and even better treatments can be discovered