Should You Take this for Anti-Aging?

Metformin is a medication that has herbal routs having been mentioned in the herbal medical prescriptions of the ancient Egypt Ebers Papyrus and in herbal remedies from the Middle Ages.

It’s actual compound a biguanide is now known to prevent and treat diabetes, prevent cancer, contribute to weight management, treat fatty liver and chronic liver disease, help manage chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and multiple sclerosis.

New studies show metformin can be a preventative for developing hypertension of preeclampsia in pregnancy as Discussed in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

And the best news is that metformin can improve longevity. The American Diabetes Association now recommends metformin for the prediabetic with fasting blood sugars between 100 and 125, or two hour blood sugar levels between 140-199 or Hba1c between 5.7 and 6.5.

The brand name for metformin ‘glucophage’ means ‘glucose eating.’ It is the cooperation of hormones that allows us to regulate our metabolism when we eat or to help us mobilize sugar stores during a fast. Our hormones regulate how we signal the brain to tell us to seek or avoid food, and they have a role in how that food is processed, used, or stored. In scientific terms this is called ‘nutrient sensing behaviors.’

In diabetics treated with metformin there is almost a third less cancer and a third less death from cancer. This is thought to be due to the ability of metformin to regulate cell growth.

We know that many of our genes that regulate years of life are in the mitochondria, our energy cells. Metformin can improve how our mitochondria work, however life extending research has only been positive in worms and mice but not in the fruit flies Drosophhila!

The Targeting Aging with Metformin trial is looking a risks of heart disease, cancer, dementia, and death in people ages 65-79, and we are all waiting excitedly to put the theories to rigid scientific investigation. Should we find the exact pathways of the anti-aging ability we may be able to fine tune your nutrition, gene-fix if you weren’t born with natural longevity, or use herbal supplements to safely put these findings into practice.

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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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