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Many of us may have known Metformin as a common oral medication for treating type 2 diabetes. However, what we may not know is that Metformin has been shown to also have anti-cancer effects.

How Does Metformin Work on Cancer?

Metformin affects cancer both directly and indirectly.

Directly, Metformin interferes with cancer-promoting signaling pathways. Therefore, inhibiting cancer cell growth and  proliferation. And, ultimately leading to death of cancer cells.

Indirectly, Metformin works by lowering the blood glucose and insulin levels. Cancer cells feed on glucose and require higher glucose consumption than normal cells. Thus, by reducing their so-called ‘food source,’ Metformin inhibits the growth and production of cancer cells.

Metformin can also be used synergistically with chemotherapy regimens to increase treatment efficacy.

Many studies have shown the strong potential of Metformin for cancer prevention and treatment.

Here are some examples:

  1. This study explains the direct and indirect mechanisms of Metformin on cancer cells, as well as its anti-ageing potential.
  2. Another study showed that Metformin has been associated with a decreased risk of breast, colon, liver, pancreas, prostate, endometrium and lung cancer.
  3. A study by Zhang and Guo use of Metformin in combination with chemotherapy regimens.
  4. This final study suggested that Metformin can be most effective against colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.