Diabetes Drug Metformin Delays Early Onset Puberty


Spanish researchers claimed that the diabetes drug metformin can delay the onset of menstruation and decreased the development of insulin resistance that is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The team of the researchers have studied 38 girls for the research purpose.

All these girls had not yet reached puberty at the start of the study but had developed pubic hair abnormally early–before the age of 8 years. The lead author of the study Lourdes Ibanez, said that these girls typically start puberty earlier than their peers. The girls had an average age of nearly 8 when they started the study. They had received either no treatment or treatment with low-dose metformin once a day for 4 years.The metformin-treated girls started puberty and menstruation later than the untreated girls. After 4 years of treatment, they also gained about 50 percent less fat–especially abdominal fat.

The study also showed the risk factor for early puberty. All the girls of the study had been born small and experienced rapid catch-up growth during infancy. Thus it develops more fat than normal. This fat tends to be around the middle, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease in adulthood.

Researchers from the University of Girona’s Doctor Josep Trueta Hospital, Spain; the Hospital of Terrassa, Spain; and the University of Leuven, Belgium, collaborated on this study. Carlos III Institute of Health in Madrid, Spain, funded the study. The results were presented on June 16, at The Endocrine Society’s 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Source: Science Daily

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