Metformin is the first-line oral antidiabetic drug that shows multiple pleiotropic effects of anti-inflamation, anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-microbia, anti-atherosclerosis, and immune modulation. Metformin’s effects on men’s related health are reviewed here, focusing on reproductive health under subtitles of erectile dysfunction (ED), steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis; and on prostate-related health under subtitles of prostate specific antigen (PSA), prostatitis, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer (PCa). Updated literature suggests a potential role of metformin on arteriogenic ED but controversial and contradictory effects (either protective or harmful) on testicular functions of testosterone synthesis and spermatogenesis. With regards to prostate-related health, metformin use may be associated with lower levels of PSA in humans, but its clinical implications require more research. Although there is a lack of research on metform’s effect on prostatitis, it may have potential benefits through its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Metformin may reduce the risk of BPH by inhibiting the insulin-like growth factor 1 pathway and some but not all studies suggest a protective role of metformin on the risk of PCa. Many clinical trials are being conducted to investigate the use of metformin as an adjuvant therapy for PCa but results currently available are not conclusive. While some trials suggest a benefit in reducing the metastasis and recurrence of PCa, others do not show any benefit. More research works are warranted to illuminate the potential usefulness of metformin in the promotion of men’s health.Copyright © 2021 Korean Society for Sexual Medicine and Andrology.
About The Expert
Chin Hsiao Tseng