Background: Oral amino acid intake reduces plasma glucose in Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. This study examined the effect of oral amino acid supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).
Material/methods: A double blind pilot clinical trial was conducted for a period of 2 months on 77 subjects with type 2 DM. Subjects of both sexes, ages 30-60, were included in the trial. All were receiving oral antidiabetic tablets. They were divided into groups on the basis of oral supplementation: (A) lysine, (B) essential amino acids, (C) amino acids and vitamins (fat and water-soluble), and (D) calcium phosphate (control). The subjects were periodically examined for fasting and post-prandial plasma glucose, fasting and post-prandial immunoreactive insulin, plasma amino acids, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), proteins and albumin in serum, urea and creatinine in plasma and sugar, and proteins and ketones in urine.
Results: The results revealed a significant decrease in PP plasma glucose (P<0.05) in group B when compared to groups C and D after 45 days. Plasma Arginine was increased in group C from 3.84 to 9.24 mg/dl. There were no statistically significant changes seen in other parameters between groups and visits.
Conclusions: Oral supplementation with amino acids for patients with type 2 DM appears to decrease PP plasma glucose without any change in plasma insulin levels, perhaps due to improved insulin sensitivity. However, the long term effects of amino acids need further study.