False Promise of Youth

I copied this from the HSI newsletter.

Dear Reader,

Millions of Americans living to 120 — or older?

Don’t bet your life on it!

You’ve probably seen the headlines all over the news. A group of researchers — and their media cheerleaders — are claiming that the diabetes drug metformin is some new fountain of youth.

They even expect us to believe it could add 40 years to our lives!

But there are three important facts behind this latest research that nobody is talking about.

And if we’re not careful, it could end up opening a deadly can of worms — literally — for you and the people you care about.

Of worms and men

Every time I hear some wild new claim about a prescription drug, I feel like I’m watching the Wizard of Oz.

Lots of smoke, mirrors and big promises — and nobody expects us to take a peek behind the curtain.

But it doesn’t take Dorothy and Toto to see what’s really driving this nonsense about metformin helping you live to 120. It’s just another Big Pharma scam to make a fortune by getting us hooked on a drug we don’t need.

In fact, when I dug into this so-called research — which was thinner than a runway model — I found three facts that the drug companies and the media are working hard to bury.

Fact #1: The metformin studies are based on worms!

That’s right, worms.

This whole crackpot theory started with some research out of Belgium that found that roundworms that were given metformin aged slower and had fewer wrinkles.

Now, I have to admit I’m impressed. Who knew you could take the wrinkles out of worms?

But I don’t think adding a few measly days to a worm’s life is going to have anybody creating a 100-and-over category in the next New York City Marathon.

Fact #2: We already know what metformin can do — and what it can’t.

Let’s face it — if metformin could help people live to 120, our senior centers would be overrun with these folks by now. It’s one of the most widely prescribed diabetes meds in the world, and there are more than 61 million prescriptions filled for it every year in the U.S. alone.

And I don’t know if you’ve ever met a 120-year-old diabetic before, but I sure haven’t.

Fact #3: Metformin can actually kill you.

I bet when Ponce de Leon went searching for the fountain of youth, he didn’t imagine it could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle weakness. But those are just some of the side effects you’ll get with metformin.

Worse still, it can cause lactic acidosis — a potentially fatal condition where too much lactic acid builds up in your blood. There’s even a black-box warning on metformin saying people with kidney problems shouldn’t take the stuff!

But, hey, what’s a little kidney damage when there are billions of dollars to be made?

Right now, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine are getting ready to recruit 3,000 seniors between the ages of 70 and 80 to take metformin for about seven years. And you can bet, based on the media hype, that some docs will start prescribing metformin “off label” for aging right away.

But there are plenty of things we can all start doing now to help our bodies age well — no dangerous drugs required.

Dr. Alicia Arbaje, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says that those old standbys of exercise, eating well, reducing stress and getting enough shut eye, are “reliable and effective ways to keep people healthy as they age.”

Plus, powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and glutathione can protect your cells from the damage we all experience as we get older.

Even better, they’ve been proven to work on humans — not just a bunch of worms.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson

Regards to my readers,
Michael Robert Serovey, MA, MISM


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