Hehehe. Between the time I wrote the last posting, 2030 and the New Me, there has been a bit of a change. The timeline has shifted another decade. Looks like it’s a moving target, but that’s to be expected. Google co-founder Larry Page said “…if we can survive until the 2040s, we can “live long enough to live forever.”
Why should we pay attention to a search engine engineer and founder? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because he’s got the kind of money and is in a unique position of power to successfully launch and run a biotech company called Calico, with the sole purpose of extending human life span by a century. He even roped Ray Kurzweil into the project, and since 2012, this scientist and futurist has been a director of engineering at Google. His new job, to create AI that can talk naturally to us peeps. No idea how that ties into life extension but maybe it’s just a front to cover his real work…turning people into AI…just joking…I think…
In any case, I now have a new reason for looking into this life-extension thing I wrote about so many years ago on a whim, and just for fun.
I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and my only prescribed drug was Metformin. Of course, as a curious Taobabe is wont to do, I did as much research as I could into the drug itself and what it actually does for the body.
According to diabetes.co.uk:
Metformin (Metformin hydrochloride) is a type of medicine known as a biguanide. This works to lower the amount of sugar in the blood of people with diabetes. It does this by lowering the amount of sugar produced in the liver, and also increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. The cells are therefore more able to remove sugar from the blood. Metformin also slows the absorption of sugars from the intestines. Metformin lowers blood sugar levels between and after meals.
OK, so that sounds rather tame and basic, and you are probably wondering why I am even talking about my personal medical issue. It’s because I found out scientists are currently using Metformin as a drug to increase human lifespan!
Suddenly, the drudgery of taking two of these little white pills a day has turned into a cool thing to do, as I voluntarily turn myself into my very own experimental subject. Of course, this is just my own experiment, since no lab will ever want to deal with me. I talk too much, and about too many weird things, I would spook out other patients.
But all kidding aside, I have to say, it was a huge surprise to me, that the very thing which was supposed to knock years off my natural life span has just suddenly turned into the vehicle for which I would be given humanity’s very first-ever ANTI-AGING MEDICATION!!!
Metformin can block or diminish many of the fundamental factors that accelearte aging. These include protecting against DNA damage glycation, poor mitochondrial function, and chronic inflammation. Metformin has been shown to facilitate DNA repair, which is critical for cancer prevention.
Metformin has also been shown to increase the production of known longevity-promoting signaling molecules in cells, such as mTOR and AMPK—all of which reduce fat and sugar storage and increase youthful functioning at the cellular level.11,13
Studies have shown that by activating AMPK, metformin specifically impacts lifespan. For example, roundworms treated with metformin have higher AMPK activity and live about 20% longer than untreated control animals.14 Mice treated with metformin have been found to live nearly 6% longer than controls.11 And most impressively, diabetics taking metformin were shown to live 15% longer than healthy individuals without diabetes!15
AMPK activity declines with age…by activating AMPK, metformin plays a major role in preventing age-related disorders including cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and neurocognitive decline.
Talk about mind-bending reality, and the awesome truth about the power of the mind over heaven and hell. I basically went from being super depressed that I would die before all my friends, to suddenly realizing that I would most likely live 15% longer than healthy folks who didn’t have diabetes and who didn’t take Metformin.
But of course, the only way that I found out about this was my curious nature into how things work and why things work the way they do.
During my cursory stage of exploration, I came across an acronym which sounded interesting. TAME What is TAME, you might ask.
Well, let me tell yeeew.
TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) is currently being run by Dr. Nir Barzilai from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, along with researchers from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).
According to TAME, the clinical trial for life extension (which was actually approved by the FDA for the purpose of anti-aging study) will begin soon, if it hasn’t already begun.
I had thought about contacting them to join the program but unfortunately, because I am already diabetic and currently taking metformin for my disease, I probably won’t quality.
No worries. I just do my own study. I simply needed to figure out the recommended dosage. A quick check showed me the information that I needed (I love Google, don’t you?). I need to take up to 1500 mg a day to be on par with the group of testers who will be on the test panel for metformin. They will be evaluating 3,000 people over a period of 6 years, which means half gets a placebo and half gets the real deal.
Me no want placebo. Me want real deal. So as I was saying earlier, I will add myself to their real deal side, which will bring their test subjects up to 1501. The 1 is me. 😀
I only have one slight issue. The current dose I’m prescribed by my doctor is only 500 mg a day. That’s not enough to be part of this deal. Even though it is doing a smashing good job at controlling my blood sugar, we ain’t talkin’ bout beating diabetes here. We are talking ’bout beating decrepitation!!!! LOL. I just made up a new word again.
Hmmm. I wonder if I can beg and plead with my doctor to give me a higher dose prescription to control my very valid very real disease. Barring that…I just take three times my recommended dosage and find other ways to get more metformin. Where there’s a will, there’s a way I always say.
But Taobabe, what if we don’t have diabetes? How can we get the metformin? You may ask.
Here’s a good piece of news for you. Let’s say you have propensity for cancer that runs in your family. Or maybe you have cardiovascular disease. Well guess what.
Metformin’s got you covered too.
A study encompassing 27 clinical trials representing more than 24,000 patients found that in people with early-stage cancers of the colon and rectum, metformin use improved recurrence-free survival by 37%, overall survival by 31%, and cancer-specific survival by 42%.19
The same study reported similar results for men with early-stage prostate cancer, with metformin use increasing recurrence-free survival by 17%, overall survival by 18%, and cancer-free survival by 42% compared with non-metformin users.19
Metformin has also been shown to prevent the fragmentation of mitochondria in endothelial cells.26 Such fragmentation is closely associated with the dysfunction of endothelial cells and is now considered an important precursor of atherosclerosis.26
The results of these protective effects have been seen in numerous human studies. In one study, heart attack patients taking metformin had a significant 75% reduction in the risk of dying after 30 days, and a 68% reduction in their risk of dying 12 months after the attack.27
Several studies have also demonstrated that metformin reduces the risk of heart attack, and is associated with reduction in stroke, atrial fibrillation (an arrhythmia), and death from all causes.28
Finally, a 2016 study showed significant reductions in systolic (top number) blood pressure in nondiabetic people taking metformin. The largest reductions were seen in those having impaired glucose tolerance or obesity.29
Still not convinced? Worried about cost? Don’t worry. It’s very cheap.
In yet another shocking twist of coincidence, metformin is not even a high-end designer drug that costs a small fortune. Oh no. Metformin is Metformin hydrochloride, the generic name for a very cheap drug. I currently pay something like $5 for a 3 month supply. People…that’s like .05 cents a day. Hardly breaks the bank. Seriously, I can’t even buy a piece of gum for .05 cents, and yet, it’s a life-saving drug.
But wait, it gets better. (hehehe…I sound like a commercial for a cool tv gadget)
How about FREE!!!
There is an online drug company (I’m not affiliated with it, I just happened to stumble across its advertisement and wanted to share it with you guys) called Unscripted that offers free Metformin (also free deliver). The only thing you need is a prescription from a doctor.
They always say: Sharing is caring. I care about all y’all. My friends from all over the world.