- Metformin has been referred to as a "miracle cure" because of its low cost, minimal risks, and its ability to prevent diabetes and possibly aging.
- A new study has shown that metformin has the potential to help some people lose weight and sustain that weight loss over a longer period of time.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more articles.
Metformin, a low-cost drug known as a "miracle" because of its use as a diabetes preventative and its potential anti-aging properties, may also help with weight loss, according to a new study.
The researchers believe the drug, which is prescribed for pre-diabetics, diabetics and people with PCOS off-label, can help patients who have lost large amounts of weight in the long term.
The study, published on April 22, Annals of Internal Medicine compared the effects of metformin versus diet and exercise for weight loss and weight loss.
In a randomized, controlled study, researchers prescribed more than 3,000 people who were obese, overweight, or had an elevated glucose level (placebo, metformin) or an intensive lifestyle intervention (ILS) that consisted of a regulated diet and exercise plan , The researchers then looked at participants over 1
The researchers defined long-term weight loss as a 5% or more weight-loss of the person's baseline weight during their one-year examination.
They found that participants using the ILS method were more likely to lose at least 5% of their weight in the first year than users of metformin, while users of metformin lost an average of 2.1% of their weight over a two-year period ,
Despite the lower overall weight loss, people who took 850 mg of metformin twice a day were more likely to die over time than those who lost weight with the ILS method.
Read More: A worrying, side-by-side look at how much fat, sugar, grains and grains we eat every day – compared to what we should do
"People [doing ILS] "" Enthusiasm for nutrition and exercise usually does not last long, "Dr. Kishore M. Gadde, lead author of the study, told INSIDER. "Taking one pill a day is a lot easier than dieting and doing sports for 15 years – almost nobody can do that."
Metformin was not helpful to everyone, but it helped some to maintain weight loss.
Gadde found that people who lost at least 5% of weight claimed that weight loss when using metformin was a relatively small group – only 28.5% of study participants – thus despite the drug's effectiveness some, it did not benefit everyone in the study.
However, Gadde believes that more research on the potential use of metformin as a weight loss agent should be undertaken, as 28.5% on average over 10 years could maintain a weight loss of about 2%.
"Maybe People Who If you need to lose weight for health reasons, you can lose weight with a low-calorie diet over a 3-month period and then go to a family doctor and choosing something like metformin to see if they can sustain that weight loss is a practical use, "Gadde said.
The study had some limitations. Not all participants had come to their annual check-ups, which led to some gaps in the data. In addition, Gadde said that some of the patients may have taken higher doses of metformin than those prescribed in the study because the researchers ultimately left it to the individual care providers of the participants.
"[Some] People in the study had pre-diabetes and some developed diabetes, and because metformin is a diabetes drug, they may end up taking extra metformin," he said.
However, the cost-effectiveness of metformin makes it an attractive option. For example, a 30-day delivery of 1,000 mg of metformin tablets at Walmart costs $ 4, compared to the thousands of dollars that other obesity drugs cause each year.
"The sheer consequence of [metformin for weight management] surprised me, and that needs to be pursued," Gadde said.