Metformin is the diabetes treatment proven to reduce blood sugar levels improve the body’s use of insulin and be a targeted type 2 diabetes treatment. Metformin ingredients work to reduce the amount of glucose produced by our livers and the amount of glucose absorbed through the stomach. More than this, the actions of Metformin and cholesterol reduction go hand in hand – it actively prevents low-density lipoproteins or ‘bad cholesterol’ from attaching to arteries and blood platelets.
Metformin ingredients are particularly effective as a type 2 diabetes treatment - the common adult onset form of diabetes. With its ability to reduce blood sugar levels, Metformin curbs the cravings for sugar, and in doing so, becomes a useful dieting aid. A valuable weapon in combating the effects of aging, metformin addresses the natural loss of glucose tolerance with age, and the linked cardiovascular diseases and the Metformin and cholesterol regulating properties make it a comprehensive wellbeing and diabetes treatment.
Insulin is vital to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood. It’s the hormone produced by the pancreas that reduces the glucose levels produced by our liver. Insulin is also instrumental in removing glucose from the blood by muscle and fat tissues which burn glucose for energy. When this level of insulin depletes and the amount produced slows down, diabetes occurs. This is when it’s necessary to seek an effective diabetes treatment.
It’s very common for people past middle age to experience a loss of glucose tolerance and the effects are significant. Unlike glucose lowering drugs which fall into the sulfonylurea class – those drugs which are specifically designed to manage type 2 diabetes - such as Glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta) or Glipizide (Glucotrol), Metformin does not increase the level of insulin in the blood and as a result, cause excessively low blood glucose levels.
What’s special about the Metformin action is that it doesn’t reduce the availability of glucose in the body, and doesn’t affect the levels of insulin. It acts by making the receptors more sensitive to insulin which means available glucose is utilized more effectively. Metformin’s action also increases the sensitivity of the hypothalamus and peripheral tissues (like muscles) to the effects of insulin. In effect, it rejuvenates this response, restoring the effects of glucose and insulin to much younger physiological levels. This all means that not only do the physical properties of metformin help with diabetes, but the ability of metformin to control sugar cravings is activated.
Metformin’s action also increases the sensitivity of the hypothalamus and peripheral tissues (like muscles) to the effects of insulin. In effect, it rejuvenates this response, restoring the effects of glucose and insulin to much younger physiological levels.
Metformin was the first drug to be approved by the US FDA in 1994 as a blood sugar reduction treatment. Further tests reveal metformin as a versatile drug and by so effectively treating diabetes, associated conditions are likely to be reduced. Indeed Scientific tests show that using metformin reduces the complications linked to diabetes such as heart disease, blindness and kidney disease.
The simple explanation is that Metformin protects your body by lowering cholesterol and preventing low-density lipoproteins – ‘bad cholesterol’ - from attaching to blood platelets and arteries. The lower cholesterol level can be achieved and a reduction in the risk of blood clotting. Tests in 2002 suggest that it also acts as an antioxidant.
By stabilizing sugar levels, undertaking a Metformin diet is potent in curbing cravings for sugary food – especially useful in weight control and encouraging a healthy attitude to eating.
Diabetes is believed by many gerontologists (who study aging) to be an example of accelerated or premature aging. Addressing age-related diabetes and the prevention of sugar cravings, together with improved body composition, insulin use and the stabilization of sugar levels, can only help to promote increased longevity.
Primarily, it contains metformin hydrochloride – the chemical that actively decreases the liver’s production of glucose. It also includes magnesium stearate, emulsifiers and delayed release agents - these all help bind the properties of the treatment, make it easy to swallow and release the ingredients at the right time in the right amounts.
A regular dosage of Metformin for people over 40 years of age is 500mg to 850mg up to three times a day. The best diet for metformin – as with every supplement and for a sound overall health plan – is varied and balanced: plenty of fruit and vegetables and low to moderate amounts of foods high in fat and sugar. The effect of metformin on low sugar diets is that it helps control cravings for foods high in carbohydrate and sugar, so it’s actively recommended in this case. Metformin also has the ability to help avoid a blood clot, possessing properties that help avoid a hardening of the arteries that can in turn lead to a heart attack.
Metformin (also sometimes referred to in the generic glucophage) produces minimal side effects (which is amply supported in testimonial) and is a proven type 2 diabetes treatment, with the added ability to lower cholesterol. There are very few contraindications but very rarely, lactic acidosis can occur in diabetics, and taking metfomin in this case has been known to cause panic attacks. In those suffering with a hypothyroid condition, metformin can help alleviate symptoms. In whichever case it’s always advisable to ask your doctor before embarking on any course of medication.
Metformin SR / XR tablets are now also available. These slow release tablets act over a longer period of time, helping to keep insulin levels stable for longer periods and therefore can also, in some, cases allow for less frequent dosing.
It’s known that many drugs can have effects on vitamins and other nutritional pathways within the body, although nutritional support programs hardly practised by physicians! The ‘Drug nutrition depletion handbook’ is a great source of information to inform patients on what nutrition should be being taken with any particular medicine regime. In relation to metformin, it is known to disrupt the vitamin B12 pathway in the body, therefore it is a sensible precaution to ensure that you are taking a good B12 supplement when using metformin.
IAS offers Dr Garry Gordon’s Beyond B12®, it is the correct sublingual version of B12 (vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed properly through the stomach), plus it also contains the important methylating agent folic acid, (what’s more, the folate used is the bioidentical version, not the cheaper synthetic version used in most nutritional supplements) along with B6 and biotin.
We recommend Beyond B12® in combination with metformin use.
Metformin’s power to help lower glucose levels produced by the liver and absorbed from food is key to improving the level of insulin in the body. With balanced insulin levels, the ability to lower cholesterol and the reduction of cravings for fatty foods all mean that metformin becomes a very potent long-term health supplement indeed.
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Disclaimer: Please note that only your own physician can determine your precise needs, but in order to give you some information these answers are based upon the ‘average person’ and clinical / published results.
Since weight training does rely on blood glucose for sustained workouts, would metformin negatively impact the duration of the workout by reducing the available glucose used for energy?
Metformin does not reduce the availability of glucose, nor does it directly affect its levels, nor the levels of insulin. It acts by making the receptors more sensitive to insulin which means that glucose levels are better utilised. You may like to read Dr. Dean’s article for further information.
I am considering adding metformin to my anti-aging program, and I would like some more information on it before I start putting it into my body. I’m excited about the possibility that it activates the same gene expression as CR, but most important to me is long term safety.
I understand metformin has a 40 year track record – so there must be significant data regarding the safety of long term usage. I understand that metformin has to be detoxified by the liver. What tests should I have done and which parameters should I pay attention to for my liver function before and during using metformin?
I’m not sure what the implications are for using metformin with regard to minimal fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels. At my last blood test my fasting serum glucose was 17mg/dl (range 65 – 99) and my fasting insulin was 2.4 uU/ml (range 6.0 – 27.0)
Please advise as I’m looking for information but can’t find any good sources.
Dr. Dean offered the following advice: “I think this individual numbers look very good. As long as kidney and liver functions (SGOT, SGPT, BUN, creatinine) are normal, he can take Metformin without concern. The parameter I watch in those who suffer from impaired liver or kidney function (as well as in diabetics) is lactic acid. This fellow will probably benefit less than someone who had a medical problem. It’s like putting an athlete on a training program. The less fit a person is, the more he will benefit from the training program. Adding metformin to someone whose parameters are all in the very fit range will not benefit him as much as someone who has deviated significantly from the norm.”
Additional information sources are on the IAS website at:
For those over 40 years of age, one 500mg to 850mg once, twice or three times a day. Consult your physician if you are a diabetic, have any liver or kidney problems or have ever suffered from lactic acidosis. Stop use if you feel unwell.
Rare in healthy aging individuals, but may include nausea, loss of appetite and very rarely, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. Patients with diabetes type I and II sometimes take doses as high as 3 grams a day, in which case side effects may include hypoglycemia or lactic acidosis.
Metformin can inhibit the uptake of vitamin B12, so a B12 supplement is recommend whilst using Metformin. Metformin may be synergistic with Acarbose and Aminoguanidine. Use of Metformin is contraindicated when combined with Thiazide, Cimetidine, diuretics or other anti-hypertensive products, which could cause renal malfunctioning. It is also contraindicated in individuals with ketonuria, serious hepatic and renal disorders, serious cardiovascular problems, serious respiratory problems, suprarenal insufficiency, chronic alcoholism, serious dystrophic illness, acute hemorrhaging, gangrene, diabetes with previous episodes of lactic acidosis or hypersensitivity to Metformin.
Metformin is the most under-appreciated anti-aging drug today
Ward Dean MD, Florida.
What a super diet aid Metformin has proven to be.