Metformin & Insulin Resistance: A Pretty Sweet Intervention

Metformin & Insulin Resistance: A Pretty Sweet Intervention

Quick overview of what you’ll learn from this blog post:

  • What is insulin resistance?
  • What causes insulin resistance?
  • Overview of how Metformin can help
  • Studies on Metformin and insulin resistance
  • How we can help with Metformin

Insulin is one of our body’s most important hormones. Made in the pancreas, insulin tells our liver, muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood, which is crucial for our cells to turn the food we eat into energy.

As the name suggests, insulin resistance is when the liver, muscle and fat cells no longer respond as well to insulin as they used to, so they take up less sugar from the blood. This leads to elevated blood sugar levels, known as hyperglycaemia, which can eventually result in metabolic syndrome, diabetes and a host of other chronic conditions.

What causes insulin resistance?

The biggest reason insulin resistance occurs is due to high sugar consumption. Over time, too much sugar in our diets leads to more and more insulin being required for cellular signaling – in other words, these cells have become less insulin sensitive. This can lead to many different chronic illnesses, and can also speed up our aging. While insulin resistance often does not have any noticeable symptoms in the short term, in the long term it can cause serious damage.

If you are trying to slow down the onset of age related damage, maintaining your sensitivity to insulin is one of the most important things you can do.

How can Metformin help?

Metformin works by reducing the amount of sugar your liver releases into your blood, and making your cells respond better to insulin, so they take up more sugar from the blood. For this reason, Metformin is routinely prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes to treat their hyperglycaemia, and to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In fact, Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world.

Since Metformin has been in use since the 1950s, many studies have looked at its effects on the body, including its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. As Healthline perfectly states, “Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity are two sides of the same coin. If you have insulin resistance, you have low insulin sensitivity. Conversely, if you are sensitive to insulin, you have low insulin resistance.”

Here are some key takeaways from select studies looking at Metformin’s beneficial effects on insulin resistance:

A 2012 study looked at the combined effects of exercise training and Metformin on insulin sensitivity in individuals with prediabetes for 12 weeks. The study concluded, “Combining exercise plus metformin, compared with either treatment alone, may more effectively activate the key regulatory enzyme AMPK and oppose the transition from pre diabetes to type 2 diabetes.”

A 2003 scientific review cited various experimental studies as showing Metformin to mediate improvements in insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, “The therapeutic profile of metformin supports its use for the control of blood glucose in diabetic patients and for the prevention of diabetes in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance.”

A 2004 scientific review cited benefits for those suffering with endothelial dysfunction, a metabolic syndrome which typically accompanies insulin resistance. The review concluded, “Metformin has beneficial effects on endothelial function which appear to be mediated through its effects to improve insulin resistance.”

How we can help with Metformin

At AgelessRx, our physicians have many years of experience in helping people optimize their insulin resistance, and Metformin is one of the safe and effective tools they could use. If you’re interested in a free online evaluation with a licensed medical professional, click here.