Metformin

Metformin is an inexpensive widely used drug for type 2 diabetics. However, beneficial side effects may include longevity. 

Metformin

Metformin is an oral medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is also sometimes used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other conditions related to insulin resistance. Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose (sugar) produced by the liver and increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin, which helps to lower blood sugar levels.

Metformin belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides and has been available in the market for more than 60 years. It is generally considered to be a safe and effective medication, with few serious side effects. Some common side effects of metformin include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upset, but these usually go away over time.

Metformin is typically taken once or twice a day, with or after meals. The dosage may be adjusted based on the individual’s blood sugar levels and response to the medication. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully when taking metformin, as it can interact with other medications and can have side effects if not taken properly.

Overall, metformin is an important medication for managing type 2 diabetes and other conditions related to insulin resistance. It is generally well-tolerated and can help to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of long-term complications associated with diabetes.

Metformin Improves Glycemic Control

The three major mechanisms of glucose control in the body. 

First, metformin decreases hepatic glucose production by inhibiting gluconeogenesis, which is the process by which the liver produces glucose. This leads to a decrease in blood glucose levels.

Secondly, metformin decreases glucose absorption in the small intestine, which also helps to lower blood glucose levels.

Thirdly, metformin increases insulin-mediated glucose uptake by improving insulin sensitivity in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. This means that the body is better able to use insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells, where it can be used for energy.

In addition to these glycemic control benefits, metformin has been shown to induce weight loss, which is particularly beneficial for obese patients with type 2 diabetes. The weight loss is believed to be due to the drug’s ability to decrease appetite and reduce the absorption of dietary fats.

Overall, metformin is a widely used medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and its multiple mechanisms of action make it an effective tool in improving glycemic control and promoting weight loss in obese patients.

 

Improvement of Heart Disease Markers

In addition to improving glycemic control and inducing weight loss, metformin also has beneficial effects on lipid metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors.

Metformin has been shown to increase the number of insulin receptors in muscle and fat cells, as well as increase the affinity of these receptors for insulin. This means that the body is better able to use insulin to transport glucose into cells for energy, which can help to reduce insulin resistance and improve glycemic control.

Metformin has also been shown to decrease levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can build up in the walls of blood vessels, leading to blockages and an increased risk of heart disease. By reducing LDL cholesterol, metformin can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition to its effects on cholesterol, metformin has also been shown to decrease levels of free fatty acids and tissue plasminogen activator antigen, both of which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Finally, metformin has been shown to decrease insulin levels, which can also have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. High insulin levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, and by reducing insulin levels, metformin may help to lower this risk.

Overall, the multiple beneficial effects of metformin on lipid metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors make it an important medication for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

 

 

Anti-Aging Benefits of Metformin

In animal studies, metformin has been shown to activate an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is involved in cellular energy regulation and may play a role in the aging process. By activating AMPK, metformin has been shown to improve mitochondrial function, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation, all of which are associated with improved healthspan and lifespan in animal models.

In particular, one study in mice found that metformin increased their lifespan by almost 40%, and also improved their bone density and strength. However, it is important to note that these findings may not be directly translatable to humans, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential anti-aging effects of metformin.

While metformin is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes, some researchers have suggested that it may have potential as an anti-aging medication.

Metformin Side Effects

Like all medications, metformin can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes metformin will experience side effects. Some of the most common side effects of metformin include:

  1. Gastrointestinal symptoms: Metformin can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. These side effects are usually mild and go away over time.

  2. Lactic acidosis: This is a rare but serious side effect of metformin, which occurs when there is too much lactic acid in the blood. Symptoms may include weakness, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, and lightheadedness. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

  3. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Long-term use of metformin can reduce the absorption of vitamin B12, which can lead to anemia, nerve damage, and other problems. Your doctor may recommend monitoring your vitamin B12 levels and taking supplements if necessary.

  4. Hypoglycemia: Metformin can lower blood sugar levels, which can cause symptoms such as sweating, shaking, confusion, and dizziness. This is more likely to occur if you take metformin with other medications that also lower blood sugar, such as insulin or sulfonylureas.

  5. Other side effects: Other possible side effects of metformin include headache, metallic taste in the mouth, rash, and changes in the sense of taste.

If you experience any side effects while taking metformin, talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication. In some cases, the benefits of taking metformin may outweigh the risks of side effects.

Metformin to Lose Weight

Metformin may help some people lose weight, especially those with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese. However, not everyone who takes metformin will experience weight loss, and the degree of weight loss may vary depending on individual factors such as diet and exercise habits.

Metformin may help with weight loss by reducing appetite, decreasing insulin resistance, and improving the body’s ability to use insulin. This can lead to lower blood sugar levels and a decrease in cravings for high-calorie foods.

It is important to note that metformin is not a weight loss medication and should not be used solely for this purpose. It should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional to manage diabetes or other medical conditions.

If you are interested in losing weight, it is recommended to speak with your healthcare provider about the best options for you, including lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

Average Dose

The typical metformin doses for treating type 2 diabetes may vary depending on the individual’s medical history, age, and other factors. The maximum recommended daily dose of metformin is usually 2,550 milligrams, but most people start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time.

The usual starting dose for metformin is 500 milligrams once or twice daily, taken with meals. This dose may be increased by 500 milligrams every week or two, based on blood sugar levels and tolerance, until the maximum recommended dose is reached.

For some people, lower doses of metformin may be appropriate. For example, people with kidney problems or other medical conditions may need to take a lower dose of metformin or may need to avoid it altogether.

It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when taking metformin and to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to ensure that the medication is working properly. Do not change your metformin dosage or stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider.

Metformin Uses

Metformin is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes, but it may also be used to manage other conditions related to insulin resistance, including:

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Metformin may help to regulate menstrual cycles and improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS.

  2. Gestational diabetes: Metformin may be used during pregnancy to help manage gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.

  3. Prediabetes: Metformin may be used to help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.

  4. Obesity: Metformin may be used to help with weight loss in people who are overweight or obese and have insulin resistance.

  5. Other conditions: Metformin may also be used to treat certain other conditions, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome.

It is important to note that metformin is not a cure for any of these conditions and should be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and regular exercise. It is also important to work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure that metformin is being used safely and effectively.

 

Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanism of action of metformin is not fully understood, but it is believed to work in several ways to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.

  1. Decrease glucose production: Metformin decreases glucose production in the liver, which helps to reduce the amount of glucose released into the bloodstream.

  2. Increase glucose uptake: Metformin increases the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, which helps to lower blood sugar levels.

  3. Improve insulin sensitivity: Metformin improves the body’s response to insulin, making it easier for insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it is needed for energy.

  4. Reduce appetite: Metformin may reduce appetite and food intake in some people, which can lead to weight loss and improved glucose control.

  5. Reduce absorption of glucose: Metformin may also reduce the absorption of glucose from the gastrointestinal tract.

Overall, the actions of metformin lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity, which can help to manage and control type 2 diabetes.

Is Metformin Safe?

Metformin is generally considered safe and effective for most people with type 2 diabetes when used as prescribed by a healthcare provider. It has been widely used for decades and has a well-established safety record.

However, like any medication, metformin may cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects of metformin include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. These side effects can often be reduced by taking metformin with food and gradually increasing the dosage over time.

In rare cases, metformin may cause a serious side effect called lactic acidosis, which is a buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Lactic acidosis is more likely to occur in people with kidney or liver problems or other medical conditions that affect the metabolism of metformin.

It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when taking metformin and to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to ensure that the medication is working properly. Do not change your metformin dosage or stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider.

Overall, metformin is considered a safe and effective medication for most people with type 2 diabetes, but it is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is being used safely and effectively.

Metformin Alternatives

There are several alternatives to metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, including:

  1. Sulfonylureas: These medications stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin and are often used as a second-line treatment after metformin.

  2. DPP-4 inhibitors: These medications help to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the levels of incretin hormones, which stimulate insulin production and lower glucagon levels.

  3. GLP-1 receptor agonists: These medications help to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and reducing the production of glucagon.

  4. SGLT2 inhibitors: These medications work by reducing the amount of glucose reabsorbed by the kidneys, leading to increased glucose excretion in the urine.

  5. Thiazolidinediones: These medications help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose production in the liver.

  6. Insulin: For some people with type 2 diabetes, insulin therapy may be necessary if other medications are not effective in controlling blood sugar levels.

It is important to note that the choice of medication for type 2 diabetes will depend on several factors, including the individual’s medical history, age, and other medical conditions. It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for each individual.

Where to Get Metformin

Metformin is available by prescription only. Speak to your doctor or ask our doctor about it when considering an anti-aging or age management program. 

Metformin for Anti-Aging

There is some scientific evidence suggesting that metformin may have potential as an anti-aging medication, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety for this use.

Metformin has been shown to activate a pathway called AMPK, which is involved in regulating energy metabolism and is thought to play a role in the aging process. In animal studies, metformin has been shown to increase lifespan and delay the onset of age-related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Some human studies have also suggested that metformin may have beneficial effects on aging-related outcomes, such as reducing inflammation, improving cardiovascular function, and improving cognitive function in older adults.

Metformin was also used in the TRIIM Anti-Aging study along with HGH. Learn more about HGH and Metformin on the TRIIM Anti-Age Study

Metformin Cost

Metformin is relatively inexpensive. Out-of-pocket cost for Metformin is between $50-$100 depending on where you get the prescription. If you are a type II diabetic many insurance plans will cover the expense. 

Anti-Aging and Wellness Center by Age Metrics Medical S. A.

The Anti-Aging & Weight Loss Center by Age Metrics Medical is part of the original Anti-Aging and Wellness Medical Clinic (Est. 2013). The clinic is one of the longest-running most successful anti-aging centers in all of Latin America for Weight Loss and Anti-Aging and Wellness therapies. Our doctors are US board-certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine by the A4M.

Board-Certified Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine A4M

Providing evidence-based Anti-Aging, Weight Loss, and Regenerative therapies. All of our treatment programs are supervised medically by Dr. Jeff Ugalde, MD. He has been part of the Anti-Aging and Wellness team since 2014 serving as its Medical Director. He is the most experienced doctor in Anti-Aging Medicine in Costa Rica. He has over 20 years of experience as a physician and is US board certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. 

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