Link between aging and diabetes?


The link between aging and diabetes involves numerous interacting factors, primarily centered around metabolism and blood glucose levels.

  1. Blood Glucose and Aging:

    • highlights the increase in resting blood glucose as people age, noting that this is correlated with higher mortality rates. Without interventions, such as dietary changes or exercise, blood glucose tends to rise with age, which can increase the risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases 1.
  2. Glucose Homeostasis and Lifestyle:

    • Maintaining balanced insulin and blood glucose levels is crucial. Regular exercise and thoughtful eating practices are essential for keeping these systems in check. There are ongoing discussions about the benefits of glucose disposal agents like metformin and berberine in managing blood glucose levels and potentially extending lifespan 2.
  3. Longevity and Caloric Restriction:

    • Low levels of insulin and periods of caloric restriction can activate certain longevity genes that protect against aging and diseases. Constant feeding with high insulin levels can accelerate aging and degrade cellular functions. Intermittent periods of hunger or fasting may trigger defensive mechanisms in the body, enhancing insulin sensitivity and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes 3.

      Blood Glucose and Mortality

      Andrew discusses a study that shows how higher blood glucose is associated with mortality in humans, especially as people age. The study also highlights the difference between results in mice and humans, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing between studies performed in rodents versus humans.

      Huberman Lab

      Effects of Fasting & Time Restricted Eating on Fat Loss & Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #41
  4. Research Trials:

    • Studies, including the TAME Trial (Targeting Aging with Metformin), aim to explore the potential of metformin and other interventions in slowing aging and reducing diabetes risks. These studies often use large cohorts to investigate whether such interventions could play a role in extending healthspan by managing metabolic health 4.

Understanding the metabolic changes that occur with aging and their link to diabetes highlights the importance of lifestyle interventions and potentially pharmacological aids in promoting healthy aging.