Anti-aging human study on metformin wins FDA approval

Global news reports describe multiple benefits.

Dec 16, 2015, 10:00 ET from Life Extension

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The mainstream has finally caught up to the potential life-extending benefits of the drug metformin.

This is not new to Life Extension® supporters who have been using metformin and related compounds to increase their healthy life spans for the past 20 years.  Life Extension is the largest consumer-based organization dedicated to finding new scientific methods to enhance and expand the healthy human life span. What caught the media's attention is the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the first human study to see if metformin can protect against the multiple diseases of aging.

Prominent headlines proclaimed, "New Anti-Aging Drug Could Extend Human Life Span to 120 Years." 

Metformin of course is not a new drug. It was approved in England in 1957 and made available to Type II diabetics around the world shortly thereafter. It took the FDA a staggering 37 years to approve it in the U.S.

Here are some of the  accurate quotes about metformin coming from worldwide news sources and health organizations:

"Although it might seem like science fiction, researchers have already proven that the diabetes drug metformin extends the life of animals, and the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. has now given the go ahead for a trial to see if the same effects can be replicated in humans," said Sarah Knapton, science editor for The Telegraph based in the U.K.

"I have been doing research into aging for 25 years and the idea that we would be talking about a clinical trial in humans for an anti-aging drug would have been thought inconceivable…20 years ago aging was a biological mystery," said Professor Gordon Lithgow, for the California-based Buck Institute for Research on Aging and one of the study's advisors. "Now we are starting to understand what is going on," added Lithgow.

According to the 2015 Strategic Social Initiative, "Scientists think the best candidate for an anti-aging drug is metformin, the world's most widely used diabetes drug which costs just 10p a day. Metformin increases the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell, which appears to boost robustness and longevity." 

"If we can slow aging in humans, even by just a little bit, it would be monumental," said Dr. Jay Olshansky, University of Illinois. "People could be older, and feel young." 

Dr. Olshansky also noted that "This would be the most important medical intervention in the modern era, an ability to slow aging."

Dr. Simon Melov of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging added, "You're talking about developing a therapy for a biological phenomenon which is universal and gives rise to all of these diseases. And if you've got a therapy for this thing, these diseases just go away."  Life Extension Magazine® listed metformin as one of many important offshore medications in 1995. And now, 20 years later, even the FDA concurs that metformin has potential to delay the onset of degenerative disease.

But contrary to news headlines, metformin will not enable humans to live to 120 years of age all by itself. What it may do is allow humans to age better today — thereby staving off degenerative disease long enough for age-reversal breakthroughs to become clinically available.

Metformin enhances the activity of anenzyme found within our cells called adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase — or AMPK for short. AMPK activation helps mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction, the best documented method of slowing and reversing biomarkers of human aging.

Life Extension has long endorsed AMPK activation as a method of slowing biological aging and advocated that its supporters utilize some proven method to increase their cellular AMPK activity — which could add substantial healthy years to the average life span.

"At Life Extension, we do not want you to age prematurely, waiting years for the results of the new FDA-approved human study," says Bill Faloon, Life Extension co-founder and technical director. "That's why we recommend steps now to boost healthy AMPK activity today."

One of the benefits of practicing consistent calorie restriction is a substantial increase in AMPK activity as cells go into a semi-starvation mode and increase their survival efficiency.

People under age 60 who regularly/vigorously exercise boost their AMPK levels. This may be the mechanism by which exercise markedly lowers cancer risk. As people age past 60, exercise may not adequately boost AMPK enzyme activity.

If people are presently taking 1,000 to 2,550 mg of metformin daily, they don't have to do anything, simply enjoy this drug's anti-aging benefits. But if they cannot acquire a prescription for metformin, or cannot tolerate it due to digestive issues, there are other proven ways to  significantly boost AMPK activity. 

Life Extension will stay abreast of this study to ascertain how close its design and implementation come to its long standing recommendations on the use of this AMPK-activating medication.

The following are links to three of the many articles appearing around the world about the first clinical trial to see if metformin can slow aging and enable people to live longer.


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SOURCE Life Extension