Metformin Diabetes Drug Feminizes Male Minnows
A new study has determined that a commonly used diabetes drug, metformin that is found in wastewater feminized the reproductive parts of male minnows and made them smaller and less fertile. The study involved the drug metformin and was the first of its kind to look at the impact of metformin on fish endocrine systems.
The study indicated that non-hormone pharmaceuticals which are commonly found in wastewater could cause development and reproductive problems in fish that had been exposed to the chemicals. Metformin is a commonly prescribed drug that is used to assist Type 2 diabetes patients with insulin resistance.
The researchers exposed fathead minnows to water containing levels of metformin that are consistent with those found in waste water. The findings indicated that eighty-four percent of the male fish exposed to the chemical developed feminized reproductive organs.
For the fathead minnow males that were not exposed, there was very little feminization. However, these signs of egg development were nothing in comparison to the exposed fix. For the male minnows that weighed less, the feminization could impact their ability to properly reproduce