Posted on Mar 26, 2019, 7 p.m.
More people in the tech industry are taking a commonly prescribed drug in attempts to stay healthier for longer, as such veteran Angel investor Ariel Poler who thinks he may have discovered a way to live a healthier and longer life which is costing him about $2.00 a month, along with making efforts to manage stress, eat well, and exercise on a regular basis.
Millions of people take metformin to help manage their blood sugar levels, recently a number of people have begun to take the generic medication in hopes to extend their lives, even though the medical community is not completely convinced of its anti-aging benefits. Thus far there have been no takers in conducting human clinical trials which leaves metformin sitting on the side lines for longevity hopes among humans.
Metformin has been used in the treatment of diabetes for decades, and in recent years a number of studies have explored whether the drug may have additional health benefits. In 2014 a study concluded diabetics who took metformin lived longer than the matched control group who did not. This lead scientists to infer it may benefit those without diabetes as well. A separate study also determined metformin improved health and lifespan of mice.
These are just some of the studies that led Poler and his Silicon Valley peers to seek out metformin prescriptions which are about five cents a pill. Poler doesn’t think he will live forever unlike some of his peers, but he does believe metformin combined with healthy lifestyle choices will help delay onset of serious health issues, leading him to live a longer and healthier life. Zen Chu another Angel investor told CNBC “I’m not pre-diabetic, it is low risk, so I tried it and could rapidly feel my metabolism improve as well.”
Metformin is undergoing a bit of renaissance in certain tech circles and in Silicon Valley for longevity among those without diabetes. Some say results being seen are a “slam dunk for its anti-aging effects” while others are “more skeptical but still give it a thumbs up as being fairly safe.” However, without human clinical trials it is hard to determine if metformin’s purported benefits are genuine or a result of the placebo effect, as there simply isn’t enough research into its use in humans as a life extension therapy.
“Theoretically one can take it without diabetes, known side effects are usually tolerated if dosage is gradually increased over time.” Metformin does have some potential side effects such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lactic acidosis. Physician Greg Burrell told CBNC he advises his non-diabetic patients to wait for results of human clinical trials before seeking out metformin prescriptions, although he wouldn’t block a patient request. “Animal trials are useful, but humans and mice can react differently to medications.”
According to CNBC sources “pharmaceutical companies have little financial incentive to research alternative uses for this cheap generic drug” this means anyone waiting for results will have a long wait ahead of them.
Here is yet another drug showing great longevity promise, that is already FDA approved, sitting on the shelf. This is really puzzling, surely keeping people alive for longer would inspire big pharma to investigate this potential extended money grab. After all living longer means customers could be reaching ages which may require additional drugs, and also it keeps them alive longer to spend more money increasing their overall profit and bottom dollar. Regardless of being for or against all can agree effects of metformin are understudied, and and are worthy of additional investigation.
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