Metformin Reduces the Incidence of Open Angle Glaucoma

The Benefits of Metformin

Metformin has been prescribed for decades as an effective treatment against type II diabetes. But studies have shown metformin to have a number of other beneficial effects as well. These include promoting longevity, weight loss, and reduced cancer risk, as well as reducing chronic pain.2-7 The drug also has antiaging effects that mimic calorie restriction, and it favorably modulates genes thought to be involved in aging.8,9

Now, new research reveals metformin also reduces the development of open angle glaucoma, a progressive optic neuropathy and a leading cause of blindness.

A University of Michigan study has found metformin to be linked with a 25% reduction in the risk of developing open angle glaucoma. Other medications used to treat type II diabetes did not have a similar benefit. Metformin is the only drug that has an intraocular pressure-reduction therapeutic effect.

Everyone over age 50 would be well-advised to get tested for glaucoma and to ask their physician about possibly taking metformin, which could be preferable to typical antiglaucoma drugs, considering their common side-effects and lack of antiaging properties.

Metformin’s Inflammation-Reducing Property

Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) is an internal cell signal that induces chronic inflammation responsible for many diseases, from cancer to heart attack, neurodegenerative diseases and even glaucoma.32-35

NF-kB activation is blamed for many chronic diseases that ravage us as we age. Metformin produces higher AMPK activity which decreases expression of NF-kB.36

By blocking NF-kB, metformin is thought to promote longevity by inhibiting systemic inflammatory processes in the body, which play havoc in all our vital organs including the brain and heart, as well as the eyes.

A recent study has found that metformin relieves neuropathic and other pain by decreasing the activation of microglial cells in the spinal cord that are an integral part of the central nervous system and its proper functioning as discussed below.

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  • It is said that metformin interacts with herbs ,vitamins and some medicatio ns given for thyroid problems , TB , hormone problems and even some antibiotics .Even glaucoma drugs are said to cause lacticacidosis if taken with metformin . So recently some reservations have been expressed over the use of metformin , though it is the most recommended drug prescribed for blood sugar control as of now .In fact herbs like Leucos Indica , Phylanthus emblica aare said to be very goodfor any type of eye problems. I have not verified the same and do not have first hand experience in that .