Metformin, used mainly as a type 2 diabetes treatment is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs. It is inexpensive, very safe, and often the recommended first-line treatment for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Metformin works by helping the body better utilize it’s own insulin and helps stop the liver from releasing glucose into the bloodstream.
Aside from helping with blood sugar management, there are other potential benefits from taking metformin:
- May help prevent or treat cancer. In one study, patients with breast cancer seemed to benefit from taking metformin over those not taking metformin for their diabetes and even over those without diabetes. A seven study analysis found that women taking metformin for 3 years cut their breast cancer risk by 25 percent. In another study, the risk of getting pancreatic cancer was 62 percent lower in those taking metformin than in those not taking metformin. Yet another study indicated that metformin users with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors got a significantly lowered risk of their cancer progression.
- May help protect from glaucoma. A study published last year in JAMA Ophalmology showed that the use of metformin and not any other diabetes medications was linked to a reduced risk of open-angle glaucoma even after taking into account diabetes management and other variables. The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center website states that “The study revealed that patients prescribed the highest amount of metformin (greater than 1,110 grams in two years) had a 25 percent reduced risk of developing glaucoma compared with those who took no metformin.”
- Helps treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is characterized by symptoms like irregular periods, an excess of male hormones, and polycystic ovaries. An underlying issue in PCOS is considered to be insulin resistance, which metformin helps to improve. A Diabetes Spectrum article concluded that “The available evidence supports consideration of the use of metformin from the earliest stages of treatment in women with PCOS. Metformin restores ovulation, improves fertility, sustains weight loss, and decreases the frequency of both early pregnancy loss and GDM. Preliminary data suggest that it is safe.”
- Helps to prevent those with pre-diabetes from developing type 2 diabetes. A large study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that while positive changes to lifestyle habits can help prevent those with pre-diabetes from developing type 2 diabetes, they also found that the use of metformin was also helpful for type 2 diabetes prevention or delay. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that people may cut their risk for type 2 diabetes by 31 percent by taking metformin.
Many people are prescribed metformin but for various reasons do not commit to taking it consistently or as prescribed. These possible benefits may provide some motivation to patients to give their prescribed medication a shot. Just do be aware metformin is not considered safe for everyone.
From Diane Kress, RD CDE and NY Times Bestselling Health Author:
Metformin is most effective when taken with a meal. If you are advised to take in the evening, take after eating dinner. If you are prescribed Metformin in the AM, take after eating breakfast.
Metformin’s main method of efficacy is to decrease the liver’s release of glycogen during the night while you sleep and between meals that are consumed in excess of 5 hours without an in between meal snack.
To pump up your Metformin’s effectiveness; decrease insulin release, decrease or eliminate insulin resistance, increase fat burning/fat loss, and improve fat related labs including cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, and hypertension: Follow the Metabolism Miracle Lifestyle.
The Metabolism Miracle is designed to decrease the liver’s release of glycogen to help decrease the pancreas’ release of the fat-gain hormone; insulin.
METFORMIN + THE METABOLISM MIRACLE by Diane Kress = Perfect Together!