Metformin: The Key to Longer Life?

Ancient Remedy

Metformin is no new kid on the block. The so-called “wonder drug” has been healing people since the middle ages by way of French lilac (plant name: Galega officinalis), the active ingredient in today’s metformin. The flower treated what we now know to be symptoms of diabetes. In 1922, the specific compound we now use today was first discovered. By 1950, French scientist Jean Sterne recognized the pill’s blood sugar-lowering abilities and began administering it to patients. He’s the guy that coined the term you might be more familiar with, Glucophage. AKA “glucose eater.” [insert diabetes Pacman 👾]

Modern Metformin

Today, metformin is the front-line medication for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes treatment. Study after study (after multiple other studies) has shown how the drug, coupled with lifestyle changes (like food choices, exercise, stress-levels) can delay or prevent diabetes altogether. It’s also the go-to treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Additionally, more and more talk continues to arise surrounding its benefits in type 1 diabetes. Metformin has resulted in decreased insulin dosing and decreased A1c in people with type 1 diabetes. (I’ll be the first to admit: as a T1D, I love my metformin.)

And as if that’s not enough, countless other forms of research point to metformin’s beneficial qualities to cognitive function, as well as its anti-cancer, anti-cardiovascular disease, and anti-aging properties. It’s that last property, anti-aging, that has scientists truly wondering, and studying, if metformin is the miracle drug. The world’s first anti-aging pill.

Fountain of Youth?

It could be. And right now, scientists are studying exactly that in clinical trial TAME. While there’s no true biological marker for ‘aging,’ per se, scientists are, instead, measuring whether or not the pill can delay the onset of chronic diseases. So far, all signs point to yes. The pill directly targets the fundamental processes of aging (aging being the preeminent risk-factor). Metformin-takers are living longer, seeing fewer cardiovascular episodes, and are less likely to suffer from cancer. Of those that do have cancer, they’re living longer with cancer than those who do not take metformin.

It’s important to note that scientists aren’t looking for ways to live forever in the midst of all this research. Rather, they’re trying to stave off all the bad parts of aging. They’re trying to lengthen our healthspan, not our lifespan, so that we spend less life living sick. Brilliant concept. 🙌

To Be Continued

No scientific results are out yet. Those should be coming in the next few years from that TAME study. Regardless, many people are already hopping on the M train. In a recent New Yorker article, biochemist and Silicon Valley startup co-founder Ned David said metformin is part of his daily routine. David, who is forty-nine, literally studies aging for a career. He looks almost 20 years younger than he actually is, and shows no signs of aging. David, along with a growing number of Sillicon Valley execs, attributes his aging (or lack thereof) success to the anti-aging pill. 💊

MannKind and One Drop to collaborate on delivering better health outcomes for people with diabetes

MannKind One Drop Partnership

VALENCIA, CA. and NEW YORK, NY — May 04, 2017 — MannKind Corporation (MNKD) TASE:MNKD) and One Drop today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter into a collaborative agreement that would extend One Drop’s subscription service and digital health platform – which currently provides unlimited blood glucose testing supplies and 24/7 live in-app support from diabetes experts – by adding Afrezza as a rapid-acting insulin offering.

The planned collaboration will include three consumer-focused areas:

Access, Cost Savings and Convenience initiatives, intended to simplify the complexity of starting and staying on mealtime insulin.

Customized Coaching and Engagement designed to help people on Afrezza achieve the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendation of an A1C goal of less than 7%.

Design Innovation around packaging and exploration of a reusable Afrezza Inhaler with integrated Bluetooth technology.

“Against a backdrop of soaring insulin costs, this proposed collaboration is an essential step in the right direction,” said Jeff Dachis, CEO and Founder of One Drop. “One Drop began with the goal of bringing affordable, accessible diabetes care to everyone living with diabetes worldwide. Through this partnership with MannKind, we will continue to work tirelessly to empower everyone with diabetes to achieve better health outcomes through the use of modern delivery methods that reduce the burden of diabetes management and increase engagement in self-care.”

“The complexity and conflicting incentives of the United States healthcare system are not aligned to help people with diabetes on insulin achieve optimal outcomes, as we see that almost seven out of ten people on mealtime insulin are not at the ADA goal of <7% A1C,” said Michael Castagna, Chief Commercial Officer of MannKind Corporation. “Even though injectable insulins have been available for decades, 20% of users regularly skip injections. We intend to empower people with diabetes to take charge of their health by trying something different.”

“We believe that diabetes care as a fully integrated digital service is the only way that we are going to bend the cost curve for payers and providers, while at the same time delivering evidence-based health outcomes that can scale,” continued Dachis. “Working with an innovator like MannKind, with a clinically effective, non-invasive inhaled mealtime insulin product, offers up an exciting opportunity to further our mission of relentlessly improving the lives of everyone with diabetes and a smartphone.”

One Drop recently presented findings from a retrospective study demonstrating that One Drop | Mobile app users report a substantial improvement in blood glucose levels, reducing A1c by 1.0 percentage point (8.2% to 7.2%) after only 2 to 12 months of using One Drop | Mobile.[1]

One Drop has also shared preliminary data collected from people with diabetes using One Drop | Mobile and One Drop | Experts for just four consecutive weeks, showing that One Drop users:

•   reduced average blood glucose by 27 mg/dL;
•   reduced average blood glucose from 185 mg/dL (A1c 8.1%) to 158 (A1c 7.1%);
•   reduced average percentage of high blood glucose readings from 19% to 4%;
•   nearly doubled the percentage of in-range blood glucose readings; and
•   consistently tracked food and blood glucose over time.[2]

In the next few months, One Drop will present the complete results of several clinical studies conducted over the past year. Altogether, One Drop | Mobile users have contributed more than 280 million primary health data points, which One Drop analyzes to deliver powerful insights that drive improved health outcomes for people with diabetes, as well as immediate proven cost-savings for both people with diabetes and their care providers.

“Our approach is to advance traditional therapies by delivering better access to scalable care, better education, more convenience, lower costs, and an improved user experience,” said Dachis. “Ultimately, we must deliver results. There is too much at stake for business as usual.”


1 Osborn, C. Y., et al. (2017, March). One Drop App Users Report Improved Glycemic Control. Poster session presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine 38th Scientific Sessions, San Diego, CA.

2 Osborn, C. Y., et al. (2017, March). The One Drop | Mobile App and Experts Program is Evidence-based and Improves Blood Glucose. Poster session presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine 38th Scientific Sessions, San Diego, CA.


MannKind Corporation (TASE:MNKD) focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes.  MannKind maintains a website at to which MannKind regularly posts copies of its press releases as well as additional information about MannKind. Interested persons can subscribe on the MannKind website to e-mail alerts that are sent automatically when MannKind issues press releases, files its reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission or posts certain other information to the website.


One Drop (Informed Data Systems Inc.) is a digital health company harnessing the power of mobile computing and data science to transform the lives of everyone with diabetes.

One Drop’s offerings include the first-ever monthly subscription service to provide clinically effective, affordable, accessible diabetes care. For less than the cost of a monthly co-pay, One Drop subscribers receive:

  • One Drop | Chrome with Unlimited Testing Supplies: One Drop | Chrome not only meets the highest standards of clinical accuracy, but also wirelessly transmits blood glucose data directly to the cloud via the One Drop | Mobile app for iOS and Android. Unlimited blood glucose test strips are delivered on-demand directly to the doors of One Drop subscribers — no prescriptions, no insurance, no appointments, and no hassles.
  • One Drop | Experts for Anytime Care: One Drop | Experts moves diabetes education out of the clinic and into the lives of people with diabetes. Each One Drop | Premium subscriber has his/her own “Expert” (Certified Diabetes Educator) available 24/7 for guidance, support, and anytime care. Experts deliver personalized digital therapeutics programs, including ADA-recognized diabetes education[3], to help people with diabetes define and achieve their health management goals. Subscribers can communicate with their Experts anytime via in-app chat; all data recorded in the app is available to Experts in real-time, allowing them to provide relevant behavioral guidance in the moments when subscribers need it most. No appointments necessary.
  • One Drop | Mobile: One Drop | Mobile is an award-winning, cloud-based diabetes management solution delivered entirely via mobile app on iOS and Android. One Drop | Mobile provides real-time and historical blood glucose data and analytics to subscribers and their healthcare providers, allowing both to see relationships between specific health behaviors and health outcomes. One Drop | Mobile also includes a fully-featured Apple WatchOS app for logging and analyzing diabetes data on the go. One Drop | Mobile is the only diabetes management platform that offers comprehensive self-care, peer-support, and expert support all in one place.

One Drop also offers an enterprise solution, One Drop | Professional, for insurers, health care provider networks, and self-insured employers to dramatically lower the cost of caring for people with diabetes.

The One Drop | Mobile solution is available for free worldwide. One Drop | Chrome is sold exclusively by One Drop (iOS, Android, and, Amazon (, and Apple ( One Drop’s consumer subscription service is available for purchase in-app (iOS and Android) and at For more information, contact


3 The American Diabetes Association recognizes this education service as meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support.


MannKind Contact:
Rose Alinaya SVP, Finance
One Drop Contact:
Rachel M. Sanchez

7 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

7 ways to lower blood pressure naturally

Your heart pumps blood every time it beats. This blood gives energy and oxygen to every part of your body. Therefore, it is important to keep your heart healthy at every age! If you maintain a lower blood pressure, then you will limit the strain on your heart and reduce you risk of health complications such as stroke.

The average heartbeat

Understanding Your Numbers

Picture this–You are at the doctor’s. She takes your blood pressure and turns to you. “100 over 70.” It seems like she’s happy, but… What does that mean!?

How to interpret blood pressureTop number: systolic blood pressure

When your heart beats, it contracts and pushes blood through your arteries. The pressure created by this force is called your systolic blood pressure. A normal reading is below 120 while a reading of 140 or more indicates hypertension (high blood pressure).

Bottom number: diastolic blood pressure

Your diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when your heart rests between beats. At this time, the heart fills with blood and oxygen. A normal reading is below 80 while a reading of 90 or higher indicates hypertension (1).

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

The combination of diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) significantly increases your risk of deadly complications including:

Hypertension is a silent problem—you may not know you have high blood pressure until your provider checks. So, get your blood pressure tested every year!

7 Ways to Minimize without Medication

Medication isn’t the only way to lower your blood pressure. Consider the following lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure and keep it down!

1: Lose weight

As your weight increases, your blood pressure is also more likely to increase. Losing as little as 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help! (2)

2: Watch your waistline

Extra inches around your waistline can increase your blood pressure so, limit the amount of body fat around your stomach. Men’s waist measurements should be less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women’s waist measurements should be less than 35 inches (89 cm) (2).

3: Exercise

The best exercise to reduce blood pressure is any exercise, so take your pick! (3) Many people enjoy walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, or weight lifting! Find out what works best for you, and move for at least 30 minutes a day. If that seems overwhelming then, complete three 10-minute workouts to gain the same benefits! (4)

4: Choose healthy foods

Stock your fridge with healthy options that are low in sodium and high in nutrients that can help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium (5) (6).

  • Eat whole, healthy foods. Dark leafy greens and fish are heart healthy choices!
  • Avoid processed (boxed) foods whenever possible
  • Read food labels to check for sodium (Learn how)

5: Limit alcohol

Drinking alcohol in small amounts may slightly lower your blood pressure. But having more than 1-2 drinks can actually raise your blood pressure by several points and could reduce how well your hypertension medications work (7).

6: Quit smoking

Cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine narrows your arteries and as a result, raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking increases your risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. If you quit smoking, then you can lower your risk of these complications and your blood pressure (8).

Not a smoker? Inhaling secondhand smoke also puts you at risk of high blood pressure and other health issues.

7: Breathe

While chronic stress may not directly cause hypertension, stress contributes to hypertension by promoting unhealthy habits linked to high blood pressure (e.g., binge eating or drinking, smoking) (9). Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress and lower your blood pressure! Check out our One Drop Guide to Meditation.

Dr. Jeffrey Gonzalez shares tips for staying on top of your diabetes medications

Dr. Jeffrey Gonzalez shares advice on taking medications

Dr. Jeffrey S. Gonzalez, PhD is an international expert on medication-taking among people with type 2 diabetes. He’s a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yeshiva University and Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Gonzalez is a NIH-funded investigator who designs and tests programs to help people with diabetes successfully take their medications.

I’ve known Dr. Gonzalez for over eight years. We share a passion for understanding, predicting, and promoting medication adherence in diabetes. We’ve shared the stage at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Session, collaborated on research and co-authored papers together, and served on the National Diabetes Education Program’s Medication Adherence Task Force. I caught up with Dr. Gonzalez at the recent Behavioral Research in Diabetes Group Exchange meeting in San Antonio, Texas. We chatted about our shared interest in helping people take their medications. Here’s our conversation in a nutshell…

How do you describe what you do?

My work gets at how people take their medications, what gets in the way, particularly depression and distress, what helps, and developing programs to help people become more successful.

How is taking medications different for people with diabetes?

Taking medications can be challenging. With diabetes, we’re talking about taking medications for a life time. That’s different from taking aspirin for a headache, and when the headache goes away, you don’t need more. Or, you take one round of antibiotics to clear up an infection, and then you’re done with it. For someone with diabetes, the signal of how a medication is working can be a lot less clear.

What gets in the way of people taking their medications?

Across studies and chronic conditions, forgetting is the number one reason why people don’t take their medications as prescribed. But, there are two types of non-adherence. One is intentional and the other non-intentional. Intentional non-adherence is when people don’t take their medications because they’re concerned about side effects, cost, and the negative consequences of doing so. Non-intentional nonadherence often has to do with forgetting and not having routines that support medication taking. The more people can develop routines, automatic habits, and integrate their medication taking into their daily life, the more successful they’ll be at taking their medications.

The cost of insulin and other diabetes medications is a huge challenge for people. What can people do to get around that?

Quote from Jeffrey Gonzalez on cost of medications

Treatment for diabetes is life-saving and has enormous benefits. On the other side of these benefits is a cost. Medications have financial costs and time costs. Providers aren’t always attuned to that. It’s important people with diabetes be empowered to ask questions and have cost be a part of the conversation about what regimen is right for them. If there’s a regimen that’s just as effective, but less costly in terms of the time it takes to take the medications and the financial commitment, that medication regimen might be a better match.

What tips, strategies, and recommendations do you have for people with diabetes?

First, understand the importance and that there’s a benefit to be had. The benefit is about delaying and preventing complications of diabetes.

Second, make sure you understand why you’re being prescribed a particular regimen. You need to have enough information so you can fully commit. Learn what actions your different medications have and why they work together. Ideally, you should be getting some feedback from your doctor on how your regimen is working. Ask your doctor about what changes you should be seeing in your blood glucose readings, and in your A1c values. And, track that over time, so you get feedback that it’s actually working and your getting a benefit.

Third, once you understand a regimen’s importance and are convinced it’s a good fit for your health, lifestyle, and wallet, given other options, it’s important to routinize the regimen. The more integrated medication taking is in your routine, the more likely it is that you’ll successfully maintain it over time. Rather than thinking of a dosing schedule in clock time, like a morning dose at 8 am and a night dose at 8 pm, think about what you do around those times every day. Tie the medication taking activity with another daily activity like a cup of coffee in the morning and brushing teeth at night. That’s a more successful strategy.

Fourth, reminders are also great. People set alarms. They make check boxes on a physical calendar. They use apps. There’s no one right strategy. Whatever works!

And, finally, prepare for schedule disruptions! Your schedule will be disrupted. Life gets in the way. People travel, or something unexpected will undoubtedly happen. Prepare for that. Have a back-up dose in your glove compartment, in your desk at work, or in your wife’s purse. Maybe even make medication packing the first part of packing for a trip. That way you can enjoy more of your vacation and not waste it orchestrating an emergency supply.

Insulin for less!

insulin for less

Nearly 50% of all people with diabetes use insulin. Everyone with type 1 diabetes uses it, and up to 42% of people with type 2 do too.

Unfortunately, not everyone who needs insulin can afford it. The price of insulin has reached new heights.

In the U.S., the per person cost of insulin has tripled in the past decade.

But, we have options!

Doctors offices often have free samples. You can ask your doctor if he/she has some samples you could have.

Patient assistance programs offer free or low cost medicines to people who meet program requirements. Each program has it’s own rules. Most require being a U.S. citizen or legal resident, having no prescription coverage, and meeting income guidelines.

– The Eli Lilly Patient Assistance Program offers discounts on Glucagon, Humalog, Humalin, Trulicity, among others.

– Other drug companies like Novo Nordisk and Sanofi have their own patient assistance programs to consider.

Drug discount cards are not insurance, but they may help reduce the cost of medicines. Most are available to anyone with or without insurance. Here are some free cards with apps:





Coupons are available that reduce the cost too. Anyone can use them. These coupon apps compare prescription costs at local pharmacies, helping us pay the least amount:




Will insulin prices continue to climb?

Hopefully not. There are small signs it may be tapering off. For instance, last year, Express scripts reported the per unit cost of Lantus dropped 14%.

Fingers crossed we’re getting close to a day when insulin is affordable for everyone who needs it. That day really can’t come soon enough!

A light at the end of the tunnel…

In the past 3 years, the patents for some insulins have expired. Manufacturers are racing to make generic versions of those insulins, which should cost less.

The first generic insulin, Basaglar (a Lantus generic), will hit the market December 15! Basaglar is expected to cost 20% less than Lantus. So, we may see slightly more savings. Phew…

Are your diabetes medications safe, effective, and prolonging your life?

Diabetes Medications -- Are they safe?

All FDA-approved diabetes medications have proven to be effective in lowering A1C. And several major studies have shown that a lower A1C is associated with a lower risk of complications, especially complications affecting the kidneys (nephropathy), eyes (retinopathy), and nerves (neuropathy). Lower A1C also lowers risk of heart attacks and strokes. But do these findings imply better outcomes in terms of longevity? And are some drugs better than others?

Results from the American Diabetes Association’s 76th Annual Scientific Sessions

A few years ago, a large study showed that use of sulfonylureas (e.g. glipizide, glyburide, glimeperide) was associated with a 24-60% higher risk of death than use of metformin (1). The same study showed that pioglitazone had a 30-39% lower risk of death than metformin, and found that rosiglitazone had a higher risk of death than pioglitazone. This was followed by a controversy over whether one particular type of medication had a higher risk than other medications. In response, FDA demanded that all new diabetes medications undergo large, long term, cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOT) to verify that they are not associated with increased risk of heart attack, heart failure or stroke.

CVOT At the American Diabetes Association (ADA) meeting held in early June in New Orleans, the results of two of these CVOT studies were reported. The LEADER trial evaluated the safety of liraglutide in people with type 2 diabetes who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Based on 4½ years of follow-up of more than 8,000 patients with type 2 diabetes, the study found a significant (15%) reduction in death from any cause and a 12% reduction in death from any cardiovascular cause. The differences became apparent after about 1½ years of treatment (2). More studies are currently underway to determine whether this finding applies to other similar drugs as well, or whether it is specific to liraglutide.

At the same ADA meeting, another study reported on the safety of another medication, empagliflozin. Empagliflozin is a member of the SGLT-2 class of drugs. A previous report of this study was presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) last September. Empagliflozin is associated with a dramatic 32-38% reduction in death and rates of hospitalization for heart failure (3). Now, the EMPA-REG OUTCOME study has reported that empagliflozin is associated with a dramatic (39 to 55%) reduction in risk of development or progression of kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes (4). This benefit begins almost immediately after starting the medication. Similar studies are underway to evaluate cardiovascular safety of two other medications in the same class (SGLT-2 inhibitors). Results will be available within the next two years.

These new and dramatic results from the LEADER study (2) and the EMPA-REG OUTCOME study (3,4) reported at the ADA are extremely promising and provide tremendous encouragement that complications of diabetes can be prevented while adding many years to a happy healthy life.


  1. Tzoulaki I. et al. BMJ 2009;339:b4731 <doi:10.1136/bmj.b4731>. Risk of cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes prescribed oral antidiabetes drugs: retrospective cohort study using UK general practice research database
  2. Mars SP, for the LEADER Steering Committee on behalf of the LEADER Trial Investigators. New England Journal of Medicine. June 13, 2016. <DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1603827>. Liraglutide and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Zinman B, et al. for the EMPA-REG OUTCOME Investigators. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015; 373:2117-2128. November 26, 2015 <DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1504720> . EMPA-REG Outcome. Empagliflozin, Cardiovascular Outcomes, and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes. See also:
  4. Wanner C et al. and the EMPA-REG OUTCOME Investigators. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jun 14. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27299675. Empagliflozin and Progression of Kidney Disease in Type 2 Diabetes.


This guest post was written by David Rodbard, M.D. Dr. Rodbard is an endocrinologist whose had a long career as a clinician and scientist working in mathematics, statistics, modeling, and computing at NIH. He started developing computer programs for analyzing glucose data in the mid-1980’s, and he’s worked with multiple companies developing glucose meters and CGM sensors. He has developed a dozen new methods to display glucose and insulin data. Currently, he is working on ‘artificial intelligence’ to permit computers to interpret glucose, insulin, medication, food, intake, and activity datathe exact kinds of data collected and used by One Drop. 

Dr. Rodbard is also married to an endocrinologist Dr. Rodbard (2) with a large active private practice largely devoted to diabetesboth T1 and T2.  She does extensive clinical trials of new medications and new types of insulin, and has also developed algorithms to help physicians select therapy for people with diabetes.