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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Oct;30(10):745-755. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2019.07.015. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

Metformin as Anti-Aging Therapy: Is It for Everyone?

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Diabetes Unit and Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address: asoukas@mgh.harvard.edu.
2
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Westlake Institute for Advanced Study and School of Life Sciences, Westlake University, Hangzhou, 310024, China.
3
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Westlake Institute for Advanced Study and School of Life Sciences, Westlake University, Hangzhou, 310024, China. Electronic address: wulianfeng@westlake.edu.cn.

Abstract

Metformin is the most widely prescribed oral hypoglycemic medication for type 2 diabetes worldwide. Metformin also retards aging in model organisms and reduces the incidence of aging-related diseases such as neurodegenerative disease and cancer in humans. In spite of its widespread use, the mechanisms by which metformin exerts favorable effects on aging remain largely unknown. Further, not all individuals prescribed metformin derive the same benefit and some develop side effects. Before metformin finds its way to mainstay therapy for anti-aging, a more granular understanding of the effects of the drug in humans is needed. This review provides an overview of recent findings from metformin studies in aging and longevity and discusses the use of metformin to combat aging and aging-related diseases.

KEYWORDS:

aging; lysosome; metformin; mitochondria; personalized medicine; type 2 diabetes

PMID:
31405774
PMCID:
PMC6779524
[Available on 2020-10-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.tem.2019.07.015

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