Endocrinologist Pavlova spoke about the principle of operation of metformin. How does it suppress appetite?

Endocrinologist Zuhra Pavlova spoke about the principle of operation of the drug for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus – metformin.

As follows from the instructions, metformin is tablet form hypoglycemic drug of the biguanide class for oral administration. It is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, especially in overweight and obese individuals with normal renal function.

Pavlova writes in her blog that metformin increases insulin sensitivity, reduces glucose production and delays its absorption in the intestines. 

— Metformin can also suppress appetite, which means reducing the amount of food consumed and, subsequently, body weight. The new study partially reveals the mechanism of action of the drug, the doctor noted.

We are talking about the metabolite N-lactoyl-phenylalanine (Lac-Phe), which is responsible for suppressing appetite. According to scientists, metformin is able to enhance its synthesis from intestinal epithelial cells by increasing the penetration of glucose into the cell. 

That is, there is a certain signaling pathway from the intestines to the brain, and it is this pathway that is affected by metformin. 

Taking the drug during the experiments led to an increase in Lac-Phe in the blood of both mice and humans. But rodents whose bodies are not able to synthesize Lac-Phe turned out to be resistant to metformin. And this proves the principle of the drug’s effect on appetite.

In addition, metformin inhibits aging and prolongs the life of diabetics by about 20 years, writes Pavlova.

Any medications can only be prescribed by a doctor. Let us note the contraindications of metformin: acute or chronic diseases that can cause tissue hypoxia (for example, heart or pulmonary failure, myocardial infarction, shock). Liver failure, acute alcohol intoxication, alcoholism.

Side effects. Very often: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

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Important!< /span> Information provided for reference purposes. Ask a specialist about contraindications and side effects and under no circumstances self-medicate. At the first signs of illness, consult a doctor.

Zukhra Pavlova Zukhra Pavlova Medicine, endocrinologist