Apart from being a safe, effective and globally affordable glucose-lowering agent for the treatment of diabetes, metformin has earned much credit in recent years as a potential anti-aging formula. It has been shown to significantly increase lifespan and delay the onset of age-associated decline in several experimental models. The current review summarizes advances in clinical research on the potential role of metformin in the field of geroprotection, highlighting findings from pre-clinical studies on known and putative mechanisms behind its beneficial properties. A growing body of evidence from clinical trials demonstrates that metformin can effectively reduce the risk of many age-related diseases and conditions, including cardiometabolic disorders, neurodegeneration, cancer, chronic inflammation, and frailty. Metformin also holds promise as a drug that could be repurposed for chemoprevention or adjuvant therapy for certain cancer types. Moreover, due to the ability of metformin to induce autophagy by activation of AMPK, it is regarded as a potential hormesis-inducing agent with healthspan-promoting and pro-longevity properties. Long-term intake of metformin is associated with low risk of adverse events; however, well-designed clinical trials are still warranted to enable potential use of this therapeutic agent as a geroprotector.

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Department of Biology

Piskovatska, V. (Veronika), Stefanyshyn, N. (Nadiya), Storey, K, Vaiserman, A.M. (Alexander M.), & Lushchak, O. (Oleh). (2018). Metformin as geroprotector: experimental and clinical evidence. Biogerontology. doi:10.1007/s10522-018-9773-5