Diabetes pill may increase life span
Metformin, a medication often prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes, has been found to show anti-aging and life-extending properties in male mice, according to the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore. Researchers say that the drug seemed to mimic the effects of extreme calorie restriction in the animals, which has been shown to increase their life span.
Previously, scientists had determined that metformin extended the lifespan in simple organisms, such as worms. For this study, researchers gave one of two different doses of metformin to middle-aged male mice. They found that the low dose increased their lifespan by about 5 percent and delayed the onset of age-related diseases. But the higher dose of the drug was toxic to the mice and reduced their lifespan.
The researchers noted that it is unclear whether a similar effect would be seen in humans and recommend that the best advice for people worried about developing diabetes is still to eat a good diet and exercise regularly.