Studies in mammals have led to the suggestion that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are important factors in aging. GH/Insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling molecules that have been linked to longevity include daf-2 and InR and their homologues in mammals, and inactivation of the corresponding genes increases lifespan in nematodes, fruit flies and mice. The life-prolonging effects of caloric restriction are likely related to decreasing IGF-1 levels. Evidence has emerged that antidiabetic drugs are promising candidates for both lifespan extension and prevention of cancer. Thus, antidiabetic drugs postpone spontaneous carcinogenesis in mice and rats, as well as chemical and radiation carcinogenesis in mice, rats and hamsters. Furthermore, metformin seems to decrease the risk for cancer in diabetic patients.
Keywords: Aging; Antidiabetic biguanides; Cancer prevention; Growth hormone; IGF-1.
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