Metformin falls short

Mainstream docs are giving out metformin like it's going out of style -- and these days, many of the patients taking this diabetes drug aren't even diabetic. It's routinely given off-label for any number of conditions, including weight loss and heart disease.

But now, new research on metformin side effects confirms it's not especially good for either of those things.

In fact, metformin side effects won't protect your heart by just about any mainstream measure: It won't slow the hardening of the arteries, reduce arterial plaque, cut triglyceride levels, lower total cholesterol, improve blood pressure or raise levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol).

The researchers behind the new study claim at least it helped patients to lose some weight, and did so about as well as some of the other weight-loss drugs out there -- but that's not really saying much.

Weight-loss drugs have been notoriously ineffective, and metformin side effects are certainly no better: During the 18-month study, patients lost an average of just 7 pounds.

For that tiny bit of weight loss -- and no reduction in heart risk -- you have to put up with some pretty awful side effects, including gastrointestinal problems (including notoriously bad and embarrassing gas) as well as a risk of a potentially deadly condition called lactic acidosis.

But who needs the drug anyway? There are much better ways to shed a few pounds -- or a whole lot of pounds -- and protect your heart, slash your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes at the same time.

All you need to do is make some basic lifestyle changes and, in some cases, try a few supplements that are proven to bring blood sugar levels down.

And if you're interested in a little extra help in whittling down that waist skip the dangerous drugs and gimmicky weight-loss supplements and try something natural instead. I have all the details on an incredible plant combo that's been scientifically proven to help burn fat in my January issue of Health Revelations. If you're not already a subscriber, it's not too late. Click here to learn more.