May 29, 2023

In this clip, Dr. Nir Barzilai answers a common question people have when taking metformin: Does metformin blunt muscle mass? And what about muscle strength?

Are i guess some common concerns i know that people have so it would be nice to address them one is my permanent exercise and you already mentioned some of that where um you took muscle biopsies and you saw that the muscle strength functioning was that of a younger younger body younger cell but i guess muscle mass seems to be a little blunted so maybe if you could

Just clarify that for people yeah that’s that’s an that’s an excellent point so um you know in order to build muscle okay to increase muscle mass you need to activate the mtor pathways okay and as met cable line told you before we want emptor pathway to be down okay with aging so there were studies that took elderly people exercised them and half of them were

On metformin and actually the the grant for this study and the hypothesis was that they’ll be synergistic to each other okay they’ll add to each other and what the researcher found it’s and it’s not only one group it’s a couple of groups and they showed that when you exercise muscle increase okay for all of them but less so with metformin okay now hidden in the

Paper in supplement four is the most important data that yes the muscle was uh smaller but the function of the muscle you know their strength was the same so explain to me if the muscle strength is the same it means that this little muscle for every gram of this muscle it does better than the gram of of muscle itself so we took like the like the study i told you

Before that was only on metformin we took the transcript from this group that published this paper and we showed really two things a that the transcripts that are mtor related were decreased okay and that’s why the muscle didn’t grow as much but on the other hand genes that are associated with the other hallmarks of aging like for autophagy or inflammation or other

Things have been changed and been more youthful so there is a trade-off so i always say if you you know if it’s important for you to show your muscle don’t take it but if you’re concerned with aging i i think it’s good you still get the benefit of exercise and and in the muscle but also look i think what’s missed in all that yeah i think i think the muscle the

Muscle er er the the muscle how the muscle looks like is not the strength of metformin but remember muscle is one organ and metformin has all those other effects right on heart and on brain on other things so you have to look at it at all and and there might be trade-offs but i don’t think the trade-offs are so big metformin is going to be great for the whole body

And metformin is not bad for the muscle okay the muscle function is the same so i think this is i think the perspective that i’m i’m caring about that and at least it’s my data you know i can i can i can claim that i i believe in it because i i studied it right because the strength of the muscle is still the same and you’re improving other longevity factors in your

Body and perhaps there could be a case that’s made where you know when you’re younger you you’re building muscle mass maybe you don’t have to take it but at some point you start taking it knowing the trade-off that yes your muscle mass may be reduced or not grow as much but your strength is still going to remain and you’re improving longevity as s that’s exactly

You got it exactly right that’s really back to the antagonistic biography right i mean if you’re young you don’t need metformin build your muscle it might pay well for the future right and and if you’re older then you have to think of metformin’s all effects and the fact that maybe the muscle is not going to be so big but it’s going to have a good quality and that’s the trade-off

Transcribed from video
Does Metformin Blunt Muscle Mass? | Dr. Nir Barzilai By Live Longer World