Long-Term Metformin Use Can Increases Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Risks

| April 24, 2017

Metformin is the mainstay of conventional treatment for type 2 diabetes. It is generally considered to be the safest antidiabetic drug around – and because the patent on metformin for blood sugar control ran out years ago, Big Pharma is desperate to find new and lucrative uses for it.

Metformin has already been suggested as a preventive therapy for cancer, as an anti-ageing drug and as a treatment for tuberculosis. Some studies have also shown that metformin may help prevent cognitive decline, causing it to be touted as a potential anti-dementia drug.

So, the recent finding that long-term use of metformin could substantially increase the risks of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases must have caused some consternation in the drug industry.

In a study yet to be published, researchers in Taiwan followed 9,300 type 2 diabetes patients for 12 years, making this the largest and longest study of its kind.1 They saw rates of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease increase with metformin daily dosage and length of use. And the link remained strong after adjusting for participants’ age, gender and diabetes severity.

In fact, the risks of these deadly conditions more than doubled over the 12-year period in those who took metformin, compared to those who did not. As I mentioned, this finding is at odds with earlier, shorter studies that suggested metformin could have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s.

Because of these conflicting findings, further research is needed to establish exactly how metformin affects the risk of neurodegenerative diseases in the long term. But the new study provides another good reason to be very wary of this “wonder drug”. That’s on top of metformin’s risks of congestive heart failure and impaired thyroid function, which I warned about here.

Another good reason to look at non-drug alternatives for preventing and managing diabetes. In my next blog post I report on findings that any healthy diet helps prevent diabetes and on the benefits of fruit and avocados.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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  1. Metformin use linked to increased dementia, Parkinson’s risk in patients with diabetes. Medscape. Mar 30, 2017.
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Category: Diabetes Drugs

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