Quality Life Extension for a Nickel a Day?

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
It seems a cheap pharmaceutical can add significant quality of life, especially in one's later years, for $2 a month. From Mexican sources, at least, otherwise $20 a month prescription in the USA.

The "life extension" focus has mostly been a rich man's luxury, and interestingly here, the Vatican seems to share a similar interest in such. I would expect that the world's governments, especially those with such as Social Security and Medicare benefits to worry about are not so motivated, and hence such as FDA reticence to finance studies, albeit improving life quality means lower health maintenance costs.

The drug works by altering sugar metabolism, and of course, an alternative and perhaps complementary way to accomplish this is by carbohydrate restriction and management.

This excerpted article goes into considerable detail:

Barzilai’s big plan isn’t necessarily less quixotic than those being dreamed up at Silicon Valley biotechs. It’s just quixotic in a completely different way. Rather than trying to develop a wildly expensive, highly speculative therapy that will likely only benefit the billionaire-demigod set, Barzilai wants to convince the FDA to put its seal of approval on an antiaging drug for the rest of us: A cheap, generic, demonstrably safe pharmaceutical that has already shown, in a host of preliminary studies, that it may be able to help stave off many of the worst parts of growing old. Not only that, it would also shorten the duration of those awful parts. (“How To Die Young at a Very Old Age” was the title of his 2014 talk at TEDx Gramercy in New York City.)

The drug in question, metformin, costs about five cents a pill. It’s a slightly modified version of a compound that was discovered in a plant, Galega officinalis. The plant, also known as French lilac and goat’s rue, is hardly the stuff of cutting-edge science. Physicians have been prescribing it as an herbal remedy for centuries. In 1640, the great English herbalist John Parkinson wrote about goat’s rue in his life’s work, Theatrum Botanicum, recommending it for “the bitings or stings of any venomous creature,” “the plague,” “measells,” “small pocks,” and “wormes in children,” among other conditions.

According to some sources, goat’s rue was also a centuries-old remedy for frequent urination, now known to be a telltale sign of diabetes. Today, metformin, which helps keep blood sugar levels in check without serious side effects, is typically the first-choice treatment for type 2 diabetics, and it’s sometimes prescribed for prediabetes as well. Together, the two conditions afflict half of American adults. In 2014 alone, Americans filled 76.9 million prescriptions for metformin, ...


Jerry Russell

Staff member
They should do a Kickstarter to fund their epidemiological studies. Everybody who signs up, in addition to making a donation, could assign themselves to either the test or control group -- depending on if they're planning to take the pills or not. Maybe each person who signs up as a pill-taker, could be asked to recruit a disinterested non-partaker counterpart.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
With that many people already taking it each year, one would think that one could gather a significant amount of metadata from volunteer patients and their doctors.