Metformin is a commonly used prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes and is known to cause weight loss in some people,media Slash Gear reported. This effect is beneficial for diabetics who have experienced this condition, but the actual mechanism of weight loss is unclear. A newly published study that could change that could change the way metformin may lead to weight loss.
In addition to helping treat patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin is also expected to help prevent the disease in high-risk populations. In addition, past studies have found evidence that metformin can help people without type 2 diabetes lose weight, making it a potential anti-obesity drug.
A recent study published in the prestigious journal Nature details the potential causes of this weight loss, which involves a protein called GDF15. This protein is associated with lower food consumption and lower body weight – it turns out that when taking metformin, the protein’s circulatory levels increase.
According to the study, elevated levels were determined in two different randomized controlled clinical trials. The researchers observed positive effects associated with metformin and obesity in mice;
Similarly, the drug was found to prevent weight gain in mice fed a high-fat diet, but not in mice lacking GDF15 or its GFRAL receptor. Similarly, blocking this receptor is said to have reversed the effect of metformin on weight loss in obese mice fed a high-fat diet. The study concluded that the effect of metformin on GDF15 “is necessary for its beneficial effects on energy balance and weight.”