Will acarbose improve the metabolic abnormalities of insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes mellitus?

R. Scott, C. J. Lintott, P. Zimmet, L. Campbell, K. Bowen, T. Welborn

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 105; age 36-71 years) on diet therapy alone, and with quite good glycaemic control (mean HbA(1c) ≃ 7 0%) were randomized to receive acarbose (100 mg three times daily) or placebo for 16 weeks, and changes in clinical and metabolic parameters indicative of Syndrome X were monitored. Fasting levels of glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)), true insulin, proinsulin, fibrinogen and lipids were measured four times weekly, and glucose, insulin, proinsulin and triglyceride responses to a standardized 1.6 MJ breakfast were determined at 0, 1 and 2 h post meal. Analysis was on an intention-to-treat basis. Fasting levels of glucose (P < 0.0001), triglycerides (P = 0.03) and Hb(1c) (P = 0.003) were reduced by acarbose over the 16 weeks of treatment. The mean change in HbA(1c) from week 0 to 16 differed by 0.4% (P=0.003) between the two groups. Insulin (P = 0.06), proinsulin (P = 0.07) and glucose (P < 0.0001) responses to the standard meal were reduced. These data show that acarbose reduces fasting glucose and triglyceride levels, lowers HbA(1c) and limits the glycaemic and insulin response to food in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus with Syndrome X. Pharmacological agents that improve the metabolic environment and reduce insulin resistance have the potential to limit the progression of atherogenesis associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


  • Acarbose
  • Syndrome X
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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