London: A common diabetes drug Metformin can also help lower “bad” cholesterol that is known for promoting cardiovascular diseases by hardening the arteries, significant research has found.
"The findings suggest that Metformin might indeed have an additional beneficial effect with regards to cardiovascular diseases among the diabetes patients”, said study first author Dr Tao Xu from Helmholtz Zentrum Minchen, the German research centre for environment health in Neuherberg.
Along with the team from the German Diabetes Centre (DDZ) in Dusseldorf, Dr Tu and colleagues analysed more than 1,800 blood samples of participants.
Using a comprehensive approach, the scientists investigated metabolic products (metabolites) as well as genetics of these participants.
They found that the administration of Metformin in patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes led to a change in metabolite levels.
According to the authors, this was associated with a significantly decreased level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
The researchers speculate that Metformin intake affects the levels of LDL cholesterol, leading to a down-regulation of specific genes.
"This is also supported by the fact that three lipid metabolites are decreased after taking the diabetes drug. Presumably, this is the mechanism how the production of 'LDL' cholesterol is repressed by Metformin,” explained Dr Rui Wang-Sattler from the institute of epidemiology II of the Helmholtz Zentrum Minchen.
"Until now the exact mechanism is unclear. Thus, we want to continue our contribution to its decryption", added co-study author Dr Stefan Brandmaier in a paper published in the journal Diabetes Care.