Differential therapeutic effects of nateglinide and acarbose on fasting and postprandial lipid profiles: a randomized trial

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2015 Apr;17(4):229-34. doi: 10.1089/dia.2014.0299.


Background: Dyslipidemia is commonly seen in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The current study sought to compare the effects of nateglinide and acarbose, two antihyperglycemic agents, on both fasting and postprandial lipid profiles in Chinese subjects with T2DM.

Subjects and methods: For this multicenter, open-label, randomized, active-controlled, parallel-group study, 103 antihyperglycemic agent-naive patients with T2DM were recruited from four hospitals in China. In total, 85 subjects (44 in the nateglinide group, 41 in the acarbose group) with a known complete lipid profile underwent the entire clinical trial and were included in the final analysis. Serum was collected in the fasting state and 30 and 120 min after a standardized meal (postprandial states) to measure the baseline lipid profiles; the same testing was performed upon completion of a 2-week course of nateglinide (120 mg three times a day) or acarbose (50 mg three times a day).

Results: Fasting triglyceride (TG) levels were significantly reduced by both nateglinide and acarbose (P<0.001), with acarbose providing a significantly more robust improvement (vs. nateglinide, P=0.005). Additionally, the TG levels at both postprandial times were significantly reduced by acarbose (P<0.001 at 30 min and P=0.002 at 120 min), whereas nateglinide treatment only significantly reduced the 30-min postprandial TG (P=0.029). Neither nateglinide nor acarbose treatment had significant impact on total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, or non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Conclusions: Compared with nateglinide, acarbose has superior therapeutic efficacy for reducing fasting and postprandial TG levels in patients with T2DM.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01030952.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • China
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cyclohexanes / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology
  • Fasting / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nateglinide
  • Phenylalanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenylalanine / therapeutic use
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Nateglinide
  • Phenylalanine
  • Acarbose

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01030952