Metformin: More Than Just a Diabetes Drug?

Metformin? A shirt from 1967?

Medical Xpress has an article about the possible future uses of metformin for weight loss, prostate cancer treatment, and tuberculosis treatment. It didn’t mention metformin as an anti-aging drug.

From the article:

Among medications, metformin has a long and storied past. The compound destined to become metformin was first isolated during the Middle Ages from the French lilac, a plant scientifically known as Galega officinalis. Ground flowers and leaves were administered by healers to patients suffering from constant urination, a hallmark of a disorder that later would become known as diabetes. The active ingredient in French lilac, a plant also called goat’s rue, was identified hundreds of years later as galegine, which triggered a striking reduction in blood glucose.

By the 1950s, scientists were able to exploit folk medicine uses and develop the drug that became metformin.

Source: Wonder drug? Exploring the molecular mechanisms of metformin, a diabetes drug with Medieval roots

Don’t believe everything you read. The article claims metformin’s effectiveness in type 2 diabetes is primarily due to weight loss. Conventional thinking is that it’s mostly due to decreased production and release of glucose by the liver. I guess time will tell which theory wins out. In either case, it’s a good initial drug for T2 diabetes if diet and exercise prove inadequate.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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One response to “Metformin: More Than Just a Diabetes Drug?

  1. I can’t wait to get off Metformin. I used to be on only Gliclazide until the Diabetes Nurse took into her head to prescribe me Met as well even though she’s not my doctor.

    I take 1000mg a day (2×500) and whilst there is now little digestive disturbance it does make me feel like crap sometimes so I then give it a break which does not seem to affect my BGs in either a positive or negative way.

    I’m very suspicious of drugs that claim to be a catch all. That’s the sort of guff you expect from snake oil sales people.