Acarbose actions on insulin resistance and inflammatory parameters during an oral fat load

Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Jan 25;651(1-3):240-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.11.015. Epub 2010 Nov 28.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of acarbose on inflammatory biomarkers and insulin resistance in diabetic patients before and after a standardized oral fat load (OFL). Ninety six patients were assigned to take acarbose 50mg three times a day and 92 to take placebo; after the first month acarbose was titrated to 100mg three times a day. We evaluated the following parameters at the baseline, and after 1, 2 and 7months: body mass index (BMI), glycemic control, fasting plasma insulin, post-prandial plasma insulin, homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), blood pressure, lipid profile, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-sensitivity C reactive protein (Hs-CRP), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin). Furthermore, at the baseline and at the end of the study all patients underwent OFL, and an euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp to evaluate M value and total glucose requirement. Acarbose was better than placebo in improving glycemic and lipid profile, and HOMA-IR. Furthermore, acarbose gave a decrease of fasting plasma insulin, post-prandial insulin, s-ICAM-1, sVCAM-1, IL-6, and Hs-CRP, not observed with placebo, even if no significant differences between the two groups were observed. During the second OFL performed after the therapy with acarbose, we observed a significant decrease of all inflammatory parameters' peaks compared to the OFL administered at baseline. Acarbose was more effective than acarbose in reducing the post-OFL peaks of the various parameters included the inflammatory markers, after 7months of therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / pharmacology*
  • Acarbose / therapeutic use
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance* / physiology
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Acarbose