If you must take a drug let it be Metformin

  • It comes from an herb, the French Lilly, or Galega officinalis. But, being that it has been synthesized it may still cause kidney, liver, and intestinal problems.
  • It helps with acne, pre-diabetes, cancer, aging, circulatory problems, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Why so many salutary effects? It works through the liver, intestinal flora, and the mitochondria (AMPK) where our cells process energy from food. The latter is also how Berberine, a molecule found in several herbs, helps as much as Metformin.
  • Of all oral anti-diabetic drugs, Metformin is the one most free of side effects, the only one to help with weight loss, the cheapest and one of the oldest.
  • BUT, it is less effective than a healthy lifestyle (exercise, plant-based diet).

The main point is this: bad diets, especially those high in refined sugars, are at the center of practically all diseases. Review my slide presentation on www.hugorodier.com for a better, pictorial discussion on this theme. Click on the number “48” on the front page.



Galega officinalis, British J. Nutrition 2006;96:326Metformin for acne J. Family Practice News February 2017 p6 commenting on article, J. Clinical Experimental Dermatology 2016;41:38 J. Family Practice News, August 15th 2007, page 23

High carb diet and glycemic load linked to acne, J. Family Practice News July 2017 p28

Metformin alters the gut microbiome of individuals with treatment-naive type 2 diabetes, contributing to the therapeutic effects of the drug, J. Nature Medicine 2017;23:850–858

Diet exercise better at preventing DM than Metformin, SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1iIGAO8 J. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2015.

Metformin and the gastrointestinal tract, J. Diabetologia March 2016, Volume 59, pp 426-435

Mechanism of Metformin: A Tale of Two Sites, J. Diabetes Care February 2016 39:187

The Primary Glucose-Lowering Effect of Metformin Resides in the Gut, Not the Circulation J. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(2):198-205.

Metformin as a Tool to Target Aging, Journal Cell Metabolism 2016;23:1060

Long-Term Metformin Use Is Associated with Decreased Risk of Breast Cancer, J. Diabetes Care June 2010 33:1304

Metformin Cut Deaths in Patients with CVD Risk, J. Family Practice News, September 15th 2010, page 28

Could a Diabetes Drug Help Beat Alzheimer’s Disease? Metformin may slow or reverse dementia and cognitive impairment, even in nondiabetics, J. Sci Am November 1, 2016

Metformin for acne, J. Family Practice News February 2017 p6 & J. Clinical Experimental Dermatology 2016;41:38

Sensing of energy and nutrients by AMP-activated protein kinase, Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:891S

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cellular energy sensor that exists in almost all eukaryotes. Genetic studies in lower eukaryotes suggest that the ancestral role of AMPK was in response to starvation for a carbon source and that AMPK is involved in life-span extension in response to caloric restriction. In mammals, AMPK is activated by an increasing cellular AMP:ATP ratio (which signifies a decrease in energy) caused by metabolic stresses that interfere with ATP production (eg, hypoxia) or that accelerate ATP consumption (eg, muscle contraction). Because glucose deprivation can increase the AMP:ATP ratio, AMPK can also act as a glucose sensor. AMPK activation occurs by a dual mechanism that involves allosteric activation and phosphorylation by upstream kinases. Once activated, AMPK switches on catabolic pathways that generate ATP (eg, the uptake and oxidation of glucose and fatty acids and mitochondrial biogenesis) while switching off ATP-consuming, anabolic pathways (eg, the synthesis of lipids, glucose, glycogen, and proteins). In addition to the acute effects via direct phosphorylation of metabolic enzymes, AMPK has longer-term effects by regulating transcription. These features make AMPK an ideal drug target in the treatment of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The antidiabetic drug metformin (which is derived from an herbal remedy) works in part by activating AMPK, whereas many xenobiotics or “nutraceuticals,” including resveratrol, quercetin, and berberine, are also AMPK activators. Most of these agents activate AMPK because they inhibit mitochondrial function.”

Berberine inhibits PTP1B activity and mimics insulin action, J. Biochem Biophys Res Commun Jul 2 2010;397(3):543-7.

Berberine and its more biologically available derivative, dihydroberberine, inhibit mitochondrial respiratory complex I: a mechanism for the action of berberine to activate AMP-activated protein kinase and improve insulin action, J. Diabetes May 2008;57(5):1414-8.

Berberine, a natural plant product, activates AMP-activated protein kinase with beneficial metabolic effects in diabetic and insulin-resistant states, J. Diabetes Aug 2006;55(8):2256-64.

Berberine-induced activation of 5’-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and glucose transport in rat skeletal muscles, J. Metabolism 2010 Nov;59(11):1619-27.

AMP-activated protein kinase: a potential target for the diseases prevention by natural occurring polyphenols, J. N Biotechnol Oct 1 2009;26(1-2):17-22.

AMP-activated protein kinase, a metabolic master switch: possible roles in type 2 diabetes, Am J Physiol Jul 1999;277(1 Pt 1):E1-10.

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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