NIH researchers find diabetes drug extends health and lifespan in mice tells the type 2 diabetes drug metformin shows some anti-aging benefits for middle-aged mice.
Like many things in life, too much of a good thing can be toxic and the same is true for metformin.
The drug has been used since the 1960s to increase insulin sensitivity and decrease sugar buildup in the liver.
The suspicion of the research team was that the drug might mimic the effect of caloric restriction, hence the anti-aging properties. Although there are differing studies on the positive benefit of caloric restriction on more complex animals, the premise is that reducing calories places the animal in a slight biological stress.
This stress causes the body to change how it produces and uses energy. Metformin has the same impact upon the body as caloric restriction. It does some good things for the genes in the liver and muscles, as well as providing some antioxidant effects.
Mmm. I did not read many comic books as a youth (I saved my money for Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Jr. books) but I remember one very vividly. A scientist had announced he had discovered an anti-aging machine. A gangster appeared in his lab demanding that he be connected to the machine. Under gunpoint, the scientist connects the gangster to the machine. The gangster shoots the scientist as he was telling that the machine was not yet perfected. The story ends with gangster exclaiming, "I can't move my muscles."