Taming expectations of metformin as a treatment to extend healthspan

Geroscience. 2019 Apr;41(2):101-108. doi: 10.1007/s11357-019-00057-3. Epub 2019 Feb 12.


The anti-hyperglycemic medication metformin has potential to be the first drug tested to slow aging in humans. While the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) proposal and other small-scale clinical trials have the potential to support aging as a treatment indication, we propose that the goals of the TAME trial might not be entirely consistent with the Geroscience goal of extending healthspan. There is expanding epidemiological support for the health benefits of metformin in individuals already diagnosed with overt chronic disease. However, it remains to be understood if these protective effects extend to those free of chronic disease. Within this editorial, we seek to highlight critical gaps in knowledge that should be considered when testing metformin as a treatment to target aging.

Keywords: Aging; Healthspan; Metformin; Slowed aging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Female
  • Geriatrics
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Metformin / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin