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Can Metformin reduce mortality rates in Covid-19?

February 24th, 2021

The medicine Metformin has been significantly associated with reduced mortality rates in Covid-19. Highly contagious and lethal, the respiratory and vascular damaging coronavirus has swept across the world and scientists have constantly and intensely studied the pandemic. 

Now, more than a year after the discovery of the virus, vaccines have been rolled out in a lot of countries and important discoveries have been made. Over 150 vaccines are currently in development and headline research has revealed that Metformin, an FDA approved medicine, can potentially reduce mortality rates in Covid-19. 

Metformin is commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes and anti-aging, it has been documented that its properties can also suppress virus growth. Therefore, those people who contract Covid-19 whilst they have been taking Metformin potentially have a higher rate of survival. However, specialists have said that more in depth research and testing needs to be carried out. Metformin has been used as an anti-inflammation, antithrombotic and anti-viral drug which could explain their findings and emphasis has been put on the fact that Metformin acts as an mTOR inhibitor. 

The Coronavirus is named after its crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth or eyes then attaches to cells in the airway that produce a protein called ACE2. The virus latches onto and infects the cells, once inside a cell, the virus releases a snippet of genetic material called RNA. The infected cell reads the RNA and begins making proteins that will keep the immune system at bay and help the virus replicate. 

Studies have revealed that as an mTOR inhibitor, Metformin can play a role in blocking pathways leading to doorways for Covid-19 viral replication and growth. The inhibitor suppresses cell proliferation and interrupts viral translation decreasing the possibility of the deadly virus spreading further into the body. If the virus can’t be blocked it will create thousands and millions of copies that will go on a journey of mass destruction leading to severe symptoms, long term organ damage or sadly death. 

Investigations into the use of Metformin as a barrier from Covid-19 have resulted in some experts believing that if a person has been taking Metformin for some time before contracting the virus it can reduce the likelihood of death. 

What scientific evidence is there?

A report in the Journey of Medical Virology concluded that the literature surrounding potential therapeutic targets for Covid-19 is continuously evolving as understanding the pathogenesis and viral cycle of SARS-CoV-2 improves. They explained that there is growing evidence for the role of mTOR pathway in cellular response to SARS-CoV-2. Read the full article here. mTOR inhibition in COVID‐19: A commentary and review of efficacy in RNA viruses – Karam – – Journal of Medical Virology – Wiley Online Library

Scientists from around the world will continue studying the viral life cycle of Covid-19 and its mutations. The experts will develop new therapies and repurpose existing drugs such as Metformin. Through their intense and rapid testing and high speed discoveries the scientists will hopefully have the ability to prevent the next pandemic before it starts. 

For more information about Metformin head over to our website here: http://bit.ly/MetforminInfo

Reference:

  1. mTOR inhibitor in COVID-19: A commentary and review of efficacy in RNA viruses. Basil A. Karam MD. Et, Al. First published: 12 December 2020.

 

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