Metformin is the most widely prescribed drug in the world to treat type two diabetes, and it’s been around for more than 60 years.
But now, researchers are learning this popular medicine might also have other health benefits.
More than 150 million people worldwide take this little pill to treat type two diabetes.
“The most commonly used medication, which is pretty much, it’s probably in the water here, is metformin – everybody knows about it,” said Karen Elkind-Hirsch, PhD, Dir., Scientific Research at Women’s Hospital, Baton Rouge.
A large review of 53 different studies concluded that metformin reduces all causes of death like cancer, heart disease and stroke, in addition to its effect on diabetes. Experts believe metformin also has anti-inflammatory effects, which may contribute to its ability to slow aging.
“Our diabetes incidence is skyrocketing and so is the health costs,” Dr. Elkind-Hirsch said.
Research has also suggested the medicine may prevent type two diabetes. In one large study, people without diabetes who took metformin reduced their risk of developing the disease by 30 percent!
“Many are on it even during pregnancy because it’s a very safe drug,” Dr. Elkind-Hirsch went on to say.
What’s more: Metformin is inexpensive – costing just pennies a day, but it does sometimes cause nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, and stomachache. Taking metformin for a long time can also lead to a vitamin b deficiency. For most patients, these symptoms are mild, and for some, the potential anti-aging benefits may be worth it.