The medical community is constantly finding new drugs and new treatments to extend the human lifespan as much as possible, and new research suggests that the drug metformin could be something of a miracle drug in this respect.
It can’t help you live forever, but metformin may actually be able to delay the illnesses that are more likely to occur as people age, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Metformin is already widely used as a diabetes drug, according to the Inquistr, but scientists believe that its uses could be expanded. It can’t treat diabetes, but it suppresses glucose production in the liver and increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thereby making it a valuable treatment for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Although people with diabetes can monitor and control their blood glucose levels easily, this disease often increases the risk of developing serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness, according to New America Media.
The most recent studies on lab animals showed that metformin increased the lifespan of the animals because it helped regulate blood glucose levels. It also increased the number of oxygen molecules released to each cell, thus making the animals better able to fight off disease even as they aged.
Because of this, researchers believe that metformin may become a useful drug to prevent diabetes from occurring at all. Around nine million Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with diabetes, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the actual number of diabetics in the U.S. is around 29 million. Around 28% of diabetes haven’t received a diagnosis, and it’s also estimated that one in every three adults has pre-diabetes, meaning they may develop the disease at some point.
As the Huffington Post reported, many people are already seeing metformin as “the fountain of youth.” While it might not meet these lofty expectations, if it operates in human bodies the same way as it did in animals, it could very well allow people to live to 120 — or even longer.