August 21, 2013

Metformin Protects Against Cancer


seiveWith the diagnosis of diabetes comes a laundry list  of secondary complications. Would it surprise you if a T2D drug was shown to reduce the risk of cancer? A study published in PLoS One shows which T2D medicine is a sieve that purifies the body of excessive glucose and the risk of  cancer. 

As you may or may not know, different diabetes medications have been associated with either an increased or reduced risk of cancer. There have been studies that show metformin has potential protective effects against cancer. This particular study may explain why metformin is protective.

Between January 1966 and April 2012, T2D patient information was analyzed from different studies comparing metformin and other anti-diabetes drugs to correlate the association between exposure to metformin and cancer.

In all, no significant difference of risk was observed in the patient information analyzed. Metformin was not associated with the risk of: breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, uterus cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and melanoma.

These results sound underwhelming at first. But when you consider that the other diabetes drugs were associated with the incidence of those cancers, it may not be a direct correlation but still, it’s pretty conclusive.

Results suggest that metformin may be associated with a significant reduction in the risk of cancer and cancer-related deaths. For what it’s worth to you and your doctor, in choosing a T2D drug to enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of cancer-related death, metformin might be worth a chance.

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