Metformin is derived from the French Lilac plant called Galega officinalis. In the 1920s, the active ingredient in this plant, known as guanidine compounds, was discovered and isolated. During that time, metformin was created and has been safely prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In the past two decades, metformin has become the first-line drug for treating diabetes in the U.S. and other countries. However, emerging evidence indicates that metformin may hold promise in treating or preventing a multitude of medical conditions.
The mechanism behind metformin is that it increases insulin sensitivity by increasing the number of muscle and fat cell insulin receptors and the attraction for the receptor. Metformin also decreases blood sugar production in the liver and its absorption by the intestines or stomach. This in turn improves the body’s response to the effects of insulin. Scientists also believe that the guanidine compounds in metformin have potential health benefits.
Combating diabetes by reducing blood sugar is the main indication of metformin. An overwhelming body of clinical trials supports metformin’s beneficial effects on blood sugar levels:
The benefits of metformin go beyond improving blood sugar levels. Studies show that this antidiabetic drug can also benefit obese and overweight individuals by promoting weight loss:
Metformin also has potent anti-cancer properties. Numerous studies show that metformin can help ward off various types of cancer:
There’s also a great deal of evidence supporting the beneficial role of metformin on cardiovascular health:
Emerging evidence suggests that metformin may play an important role in preserving cognitive function:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder caused by the collection of several fluids (follicles) in the ovaries, affecting its ability to release eggs. Studies show that metformin may help treat this debilitating condition:
The ability of metformin to improve insulin resistance and other metabolic parameters may play a part in reducing blood pressure. Studies show that metformin has potent anti-hypertensive effects:
Metformin also has anti-aging benefits. According to studies, it can block or diminish various fundamental factors that accelerate the aging process:
Metformin side effects are very uncommon. There have been some side effects associated with the use of this drug wherein the patient had one of the issues listed below at some point while being on metformin. However, these side effects weren’t confirmed to be associated with the treatment and could have been a coincidence and not related to the use of metformin. Despite this, it was listed as a side effect associated with metformin even though these associated side effects are very uncommon.
Side effects associated with metformin may include the following:
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