Why Isn’t Everyone Taking Metformin?


It seems like every week there’s a new reason to be happy to be taking metformin. Last week (or was it two weeks ago) a new study found evidence suggesting that taking metformin reduces the risk of developing dementia.

Now, this week, there is a new study suggesting that metformin extends lifespan and healthspan. The team of researchers, headed by Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore, set out to see whether treatment with metformin mimics some of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels without a the decrease in caloric intake such a diet requires. Or in other words, can we enjoy the benefit of a low calorie diet by taking a pill.

In the study, published in Nature Communications, the researchers took two groups of middle aged male mice. One group of mice was given a 0.1 percent dose and the other was given 1 percent.

The mice that received the 0.1 percent metformin dose were the ones who lived about six percent longer, and were also more resistant to diabetes and heart disease.

The second group receiving the higher dose of metformin was not so lucky, they had a 14% reduction in lifespan compared to mice not given metformin.

The shortened lifespan in the mice given the larger dose of metformin may have been due to kidney failure. The low-dose mice didn’t appear to have any kidney problems.

I know that this is only in mice and that it seems like you can prove anything or cure anything in mice, but still you do have to wonder why doctors aren’t putting many more people on a low dose of metformin. I mean if it fights cancer, lowers dementia risk and may extend lifespan shouldn’t we all be on it? 


Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Metformin is actually pretty close to being a magic pill… And for all of you out there who subscribe to the idea that natural is better, metformin actually comes from a plant – Galega (whatever – I mean it is natural for 30% of children to die in childbirth – anyone want to sign up to that? But I digress).  Also, metformin is a generic drug, so big pharma makes really basically no money from it. I’ve done a lot of research on this, and the risk to reward ratio for metformin is way in favor of taking metformin! It’s… Read more »

8 years ago

I agree with Jim Healthy. A magic pill is not out there and probably never will be.
Physicians want to put statin drugs in our water supplies – to go along with the toxic fluoride.
Check out statin side effects for o=yourself. There are more and more being discovered. Peoples Pharmacy Newsletter has numerous anecdotal reports of drastic side effects from these drugs.
Who needs it? Not me.

Jim Healthy
Jim Healthy
9 years ago

This is the mentality the drug industry wants us all to develop, Michael. I’ve read similar proposals for aspirin, statins, and the polypill. The real question is: “Shouldn’t we all be eating better?”  This, of course, would require a level playing field in Farm Subsidies … Health education in primary schools … Regulation of junk food ads to our children … Conscientious management of the oceans and agricultural soil and lands … Restraints on corporate power … And a society that measured success by “gross national happiness” (yes, there are nations tha do this), instead of “gross national product.” These… Read more »

Copyright © 2009-2021 Diabetes Media Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
ASweetLife™ is a trademark of the Diabetes Media Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x