Metformin is the most widely prescribed oral hypoglycemic medication for type 2 diabetes worldwide. Metformin also retards aging in model organisms and reduces the incidence of aging-related diseases such as neurodegenerative disease and cancer in humans. In spite of its widespread use, the mechanisms by which metformin exerts favorable effects on aging remain largely unknown. Further, not all individuals prescribed metformin derive the same benefit and some develop side effects. Before metformin finds its way to mainstay therapy for anti-aging, a more granular understanding of the effects of the drug in humans is needed. This review provides an overview of recent findings from metformin studies in aging and longevity and discusses the use of metformin to combat aging and aging-related diseases.
Keywords: aging; lysosome; metformin; mitochondria; personalized medicine; type 2 diabetes.
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