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Research claims that metformin, an oral anti-diabetic drug, may reduce mortality in women infected with COVID-19


To the study A group of scientists at the University of Minnesota have discovered that the oral antidiabetic drug metformin may help reduce the risk of death from COVID-19 in women.

The results of the survey are still in the preprint stage and have not been peer reviewed. However, studies show that the drug lowers the levels of inflammatory mediators called TNF-α, which reduces the inflammatory response in the body. Inflammation and subsequent storm of cytokines is one of the suggested reasons for mortality in coronavirus patients.

The exact reason for the difference is unknown, but may be due to sex hormones and certain epigenetic changes on the Y chromosome (changes in DNA that do not alter gene sequence but can regulate gene expression). It was suggested that. Metformin inhibits mast cell activation. Mast cells are immune system cells that cause allergic reactions in the body. These cells are responsible for the cytokine storm in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies conducted in rats have shown that mast cells are responsible for a greater increase in TNFα in women than in men. This may be another reason why women are getting more benefit from metformin.

This is not the first study to suggest a positive effect of metformin on COVID-19 patients. Another study previously conducted in Wuhan showed that the drug was effective in reducing mortality in patients with coronavirus.

Here are four things you need to know about Metformin:

What is Metformin?

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, metformin is an antihyperglycemic drug that lowers both postprandial (postprandial) and basal blood glucose levels in diabetics.

However, not many people know that metformin was not originally an antidiabetic drug. It was originally developed to treat influenza and lowering blood sugar was actually a side effect of this drug.

How Does Metformin Work?

Metformin phosphorylates (adds a phosphorus group) the liver cell enzyme AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase). This increases glucose uptake in muscles (due to increased response to insulin) and diminished hepatic glucose production. Metformin also reduces the amount of glucose you absorb from your food.

Studies show that metformin can also help reduce weight in people who are overweight or obese, with or without diabetes. This is probably caused by reducing the effects of insulin on body weight.

How does Metformin affect SARS-CoV-2?

Acute lung injury and its more severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome, are two complications of COVID-19 leading to respiratory failure and death. This condition is characterized by leakage of fluid in the lungs, making breathing difficult and causing hypoxemia (hypoxemia). If the body does not get enough oxygen, it can lead to organ damage.

It is already known that SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, binds to the ACE-2 receptor present on the surface of somatic cells and enters the body.

Currently, studies show that ACE-2 is responsible for acute lung injury in COVID-19 patients. ACE-2 triggers a process called autophagy via the AMPK / mTOR pathway. Autophagy is the process by which the human body removes excess or damaged cells and organelles.

AMPK also increases ACE-2 expression and phosphorylates it, making it more stable. This phosphorylation prevents ACE-2 from binding to SARS-CoV-2. Metformin activates AMPK, only preventing the coronavirus from binding to the ACE2 receptor.

It has also been shown that when viruses enter cells, the expression of ACE-2 receptors on the surface of those cells is reduced. This will increase inflammation. Metformin increases the expression of ACE-2 and thus helps reduce the harmful effects of inflammation on the cardiopulmonary system.

What are the side effects of metformin?

The US National Library of Medicine has the following side effects of metformin:

  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • gas
  • Stomach ache
  • muscle pain

According to the FDA, metformin also carries a risk of a fatal condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is characterized by an accumulation of lactic acid in the body. When caused by metformin, lactic acidosis causes symptoms such as muscle aches, abdominal pain, and dyspnea.

People over the age of 65 are at increased risk of getting certain medications, having kidney or liver ailments, or taking alcohol.

This drug is not given to people with acute kidney injury, who are allergic to the drug, or who have metabolic acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis.

See the following articles for more information: COVID-19 Prevention Tips for Older People and People With Chronic Illness..

The Firstpost Health article was created by, India’s first and largest resource for validated healthcare information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to provide all health information.

Update: Jun 24, 2020 14:38:57 IS



COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when first appearing,

Cytokine storm,


Diabetic ketoacidosis,

Food and Drug Administration,


Health care,



Lactic acidosis,

Mast cells,

Metabolic acidosis,







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