Metformin Boosts Healthy Aging in Mice
Mice fed a steady stream of metformin starting at middle age lived longer, healthier lives than those that didn't receive the medication. Metformin makes insulin work better in the body; it's typically the first medication prescribed to people who develop type 2 diabetes. The mice in the study did not have diabetes, suggesting that metformin may promote healthy aging in people without the disease. The researchers say that metformin mimics some benefits of calorie restriction, including a boost in physical fitness and lower levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, without any reduction in food intake. There are limits, though: High doses of metformin—far more in relative terms than a person would take—were toxic to the mice.
Source: Nature Communications, July 30, 2013