Insulin as an anti-inflammatory and antiatherogenic modulator

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 Feb 3;53(5 Suppl):S14-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.10.038.


Data demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effects of insulin and proinflammatory effects of glucose. These data provide a mechanistic justification for the benefits of maintaining euglycemia with insulin infusions in hospitalized patients. Regimens that infuse fixed doses of insulin with high rates of glucose are usually associated with hyperglycemia, which may neutralize the beneficial effects of insulin. Therefore, we propose that such regimens should be avoided and instead replaced by insulin infusions that normalize and maintain blood glucose at a reasonably low level and ensure that plasma insulin is maintained at levels high enough to provide clinically relevant anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects. Trials to test this hypothesis are in progress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / etiology
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Oxidative Stress


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin