Natural Alternative to Metformin Over the Counter For Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control


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Metformin is one of the most widely sold prescription drugs in the United States. Its main purpose is to improve insulin sensitivity and control blood glucose levels. But using Metformin for weight loss is just as popular in 2023. Although effective it can be prohibitive for some diabetics and obese patients. For these reasons there are several natural Metformin alternatives available over the counter on the market that work just as well

Natural Metformin Alternatives OTC – Weight Loss and Control Blood Sugar Levels

Here are the best natural substitutes over the counter for both losing weight and reducing high blood sugar levels.

  1. PhenQ – fat burner and appetite suppressant
  2. Altai Balance – Lower Blood Sugar Levels

PhenQ – use instead of Metformin for weight loss


CLICK to view PhenQ price and availability

PhenQ is an effective weight loss aid that works to naturally burn excess body fat, reduce appetite and control hunger, and also prevent fat cells from forming. 

It combines natural ingredients in a patented formula designed to improve your metabolism, increase thermogenesis and suppress appetite. 

This synergistic triple action can help you lose stubborn body fat quicker than diet and exercise alone. 

PhenQ exclusively uses top-of-the-line ingredients, including calcium carbonate, caffeine anhydrous, chromium picolinate and nopal cactus extract all of which help the body manage its caloric intake more efficiently and reduce hunger overall. 

Furthermore, all ingredients work together to boost the body’s metabolism so that it burns stored fat throughout the day instead of sugar or carbohydrates. With all these actions coinciding in one product, PhenQ is an excellent natural metformin alternative for anyone who is looking to get rid of hard-to-lose stubborn body fat.

Altai Balance – use to regulate blood sugar levels


CLICK to view Altai Balance price and availability

Altai Balance is a revolutionary new natural supplement that provides an all-natural approach to regulating blood sugar levels. 

It is quickly becoming one of the most popular Metformin replacements for those who prefer a more holistic and natural method of controlling their blood glucose. By combining rare herbs with modern scientific extracts, Altai Balance has been successful in providing a gentle, effective approach to managing blood sugar levels without harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients. 

The unique blend of supportive herbs works with your body’s metabolic processes to naturally and gradually bring your glucose levels into a steady and healthy balance. 

Compared favorably to more conventional pharmaceutical treatments such as Metformin, Altai Balance offers an attractive option for those looking for a simple and natural solution to their blood sugar regulation needs.

Why Use Natural Metformin Alternatives?

Natural alternatives to metformin are sometimes preferred as they are less likely to cause side effects, they are non-prescription and they are a fraction of the price.

Metformin For Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control

Lots of people are aware there is an association between metformin and losing weight. Some people who have become aware of the medication even believe metformin is a diet pill. It’s not. However, if your doctor prescribes it for weight management, you may be able to use it that way.

Although metformin can have value as a diet pill, it appears to work better for some people than it does for others. 

Even when it works for weight management the results metformin provides are generally pretty poor when compared to many alternative options such as first-line prescription weight loss pills and over-the-counter (OTC) fat burners.

Even though many people tolerate the medication well, metformin also has the potential to cause unpleasant side effects. If you are thinking of using it as a weight loss aid, there are also some serious health risks you need to know about.

Once you become aware of them, you may consider the benefits of using metformin for reducing BMI (Body Mass index) are not great enough to justify some of the dangers. This article will provide you with all the pros and cons to help you decide.

What is Metformin?

Often sold under the Glucophage trade name, metformin is an oral medication that’s FDA-approved as a treatment for type-2 diabetes and is also prescribed as an off-label weight management aid.

In addition to Glucophage, metformin is distributed under several other trade names including Obimet, Diabex, and Metsol. However, Glucophage, Riomet, Fortamet, and Glumetza are the brands you are most likely to encounter in US pharmacies.

Metformin is a biguanide. Drugs of this type are oral medications that help prevent blood sugar from becoming too high. Metformin is the only biguanide presently available as an antidiabetic treatment and it’s very popular. In 2020, it was the third most commonly prescribed medication in the US.

Biguanides regulate blood sugar in several ways. The first thing they do is restrict the amount of sugar passing through the intestinal walls into the blood. They also discourage the liver from producing sugar and enhance insulin sensitivity. [1]

However, although metformin is a first-line treatment for type-2 diabetes, its role is still supportive. Diet and exercise are still the best ways for type-2 diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.

So regardless of whether you are considering using metformin as an antidiabetic or an oral weight loss medication, you will need to focus on your diet and make healthy lifestyle choices.

How Metformin Works for Weight Loss and Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

Losing excess body weight is one of the most common metformin side effects. Loss of appetite is another. However, although it seems likely that the drug’s ability to reduce hunger contributes to weight loss, it remains unclear how it achieves this.

Emerging evidence suggests metformin might work by modulating the hypothalamic appetite regulatory centers in the brain, causing positive changes in the gut microbiome, and reversing the metabolic consequences of aging. [2]

However, some experts believe differently and draw attention to the drug’s ability to cause gastrointestinal side effects that may make people reduce the amount of food they consume.

The bottom line is, when it comes to how metformin helps people to lose weight, there is still a lot to learn. But perhaps the way it works is not so important. You don’t need to know how an internal combustion engine works to travel from A to B in a car.

Many people say they feel less hungry when they are using metformin and plenty of users lose weight. Doctors have noticed these are common side effects. That’s why they sometimes prescribe the drug to patients seeking body mass reduction

Prescription weight loss medications and OTC supplements that reduce hunger can help people to control their portion sizes at mealtimes and avoid the temptation to snack. It’s pretty clear that metformin can help people to do this too but, as we have previously mentioned, it doesn’t work for everyone and any weight loss users receive may come bundled with unpleasant or dangerous side effects.

How to Use Metformin for Losing Weight

As with type-2 diabetics, people who want to lose weight with Glucophage or other brands of metformin will need to use the medication alongside diet and exercise.

Diet is the most crucial of the two because you cannot burn fat until you have caused the body to experience the energy shortage that forces it to do it. Exercise increases the energy shortage within the body, leading to even more fat-burning and weight loss.

When it works, metformin’s role in fat loss is only supportive. It makes it easier to avoid overeating by taking hunger away.

The dose and dosing schedule will depend on whether your doctor prescribes immediate-release metformin pills or the extended-release version.

However, the immediate-release version is available in two strength options (500 mg + 850 mg). This influences the dosing schedule as well.

With the 500 mg version, the initial dose is one pill, two times per day but, if your doctor prescribes the 850 mg option, you will only need to take one dose per day.

The dose often increases in 500 mg or 850 mg increments every one to two weeks. The maximum dose is 2550 mg per day.

Things work a little differently with metformin’s extended-release. If your doctor prescribes the extended-release medication, the initial dose is 500 mg to 1000 mg, taken once each day. The dose often increases by 500 mg per week. However, with metformin extended release, the maximum dose is 2500 mg per day.

Metformin Usage Restrictions and Considerations

Metformin is not suitable for people who have kidney disease, metabolic acidosis, or diabetic ketoacidosis. It may also be unsuitable for premenopausal women and should never be used by women who are breastfeeding a child.

The medication can also interact badly with certain medications.

Metformin Weight Loss Results

Although metformin can suppress appetite and increase weight loss, it does not do these things for all users. Even when it does, the weight losses people report are often less than exciting. Some users report losing up to two pounds per week but the ones who do are the exception rather than the norm.

According to a meta-analysis published in Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism in May 2020, weight losses with metformin are likely to be modest at best. The researchers who conducted the analysis expressed doubts about the weight reductions being high enough to enable metformin to qualify as a weight loss drug. [3]

Metformin Side Effects and Dangers

Although it’s rare, some people are allergic to metformin. The worst thing about allergies is you don’t know you have them until you try something for the first time.

If you experience hives breathing difficulties, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. You may be having an allergic reaction and will need to get emergency medical help.

Metformin side effects may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain/cramping
  • Pain while urinating
  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Racing/pounding heartbeat
  • Increased hunger
  • Jitters
  • Slurred speech
  • Feeling unusually tired or weak
  • Seizures

These are only a few example reactions. There are many more.

It’s not unheard of for metformin to cause lactic acidosis. This can be fatal so the FDA insists the drug be circulated with an appropriate warning.

A clinical review of the data since the 1960s states that, before the year 2000, metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA) had a 50% mortality rate. The review also states this has since fallen to 25%. [4]

That would mean one in four people who develop MALA could die. Fortunately, it’s not as scary as it seems because MALA is rare. Estimates suggest there are only 2-9 cases per 100,000 patients per year. [5]

Metformin Availability and Usage Cost

If you have a prescription, you should be able to buy metformin from any good pharmacy and it can be surprisingly cheap. A lot of pharmacies charge less than $10 for a 30-day supply of tablets.

The Pros and Cons of Using Metformin for Weight Management


  • Suppresses appetite in some people
  • Causes weight loss in some people
  • Cheaper than most similar prescription medications


  • Only available with a prescription
  • Does not work for everyone
  • Can cause dangerous side effects
  • Weight losses have been shown to be modest at best

Natural Alternatives to Metformin Summary

Metformin is a type-2 diabetes medication that causes some users to go off their food and lose weight as a side effect. Because of this, some doctors prescribe it off-label to patients who are overweight or obese.

Although reducing body weight and excess body fat could be seen as a desirable side effect, some of the other metformin side effects can be very unpleasant and even dangerous.

Bearing in mind the fact that the drug lacks potency as a weight loss aid and doesn’t even work for many people, it’s hard to justify using it in this way.

Research Sources

  1. Biguanides:
  2. Metformin: Mechanisms in Human Obesity and Weight Loss:
  3. Effects of Metformin in Obesity Treatment in Different Populations: A Meta-Analysis:
  4. Mortality Rate in So-Called “Metformin-Associated Lactic Acidosis”: A Review of the Data Since the 1960s:
  5. Metformin Associated Lactic Acidosis (MALA):

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