A Drug’s Secret: Science of Metformin’s Benefits Revealed

A Drug’s Secret: Science of Metformin’s Benefits Revealed


Metformin is the most commonly used
diabetes medication taken by over 200 million people every day. We know it
lowers blood glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes but research over the
last decade or so has shown it also has effects on aging, cardiovascular disease,
cancer and potentially dementia and other diseases and we really didn’t
understand why. We hypothesized that metformin would be acting on the liver
to cause the release of an endocrine factor. We found using omics technologies
that indeed in mice it caused increased expression of a number of proteins and
then cross-referenced that to people taking metformin and found that it
caused increased expression of a protein called growth differentiating factor 15
or GDF 15. Right now there’s over 1,500 clinical trials testing the effects of
metformin in a multitude of different diseases from autism to wound healing so
we think this has important implications as it might be a mechanism by which
metformin may communicate to the rest of the body to mediate its beneficial
effects

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