OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of acarbose, an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, on insulin release and insulin sensitivity in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Elderly patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly treated in a double-blind fashion with placebo (n = 23) or acarbose (n = 22) for 12 months. Before and after randomization, subjects underwent a meal tolerance test and a hyperglycemic glucose clamp study designed to measure insulin release and sensitivity. RESULTS: After 12 months of therapy there was a significant difference in the change in fasting plasma glucose levels (0.2 +/- 0.3 vs. -0.5 +/- 0.2 mmol/l, placebo vs. acarbose group, respectively; P < 0.05) and in incremental postprandial glucose values (-0.4 +/- 0.6 vs. -3.5 +/- 0.6 mmol/l, placebo vs. acarbose group, P < 0.001) between groups. There was a significant difference in the change in HbA(1c) values in response to treatment (0.4 +/- 0.2 vs. -0.4 +/- 0.1%, placebo vs. acarbose group, P < 0.01). The change in fasting insulin in response to treatment (-2 +/- 2 vs. -13 +/- 4 pmol/l, placebo vs. acarbose group, P < 0.05) and incremental postprandial insulin responses (-89 +/- 26 vs. -271 +/- 59 pmol/l, placebo vs. acarbose group, P < 0.01) was also significantly different between groups. During the hyperglycemic clamps, glucose and insulin values were similar in both groups before and after therapy However, there was a significant difference in the change in insulin sensitivity in response to treatment between the placebo and the acarbose groups (0.001 +/- 0.001 vs. 0.004 +/- 0.001 mg/kg x min(-1) [pmol/l](-1), respectively, P < 0.05) CONCLUSIONS: Acarbose increases insulin sensitivity but not insulin release in elderly patients with diabetes.
Effect of acarbose on insulin sensitivity in elderly patients with diabetes.
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G S Meneilly, E A Ryan, J Radziuk, D C Lau, J F Yale, J Morais, J L Chiasson, R Rabasa-Lhoret, P Maheux, D Tessier, T Wolever, R G Josse, D Elahi; Effect of acarbose on insulin sensitivity in elderly patients with diabetes.. Diabetes Care 1 August 2000; 23 (8): 1162–1167. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.23.8.1162
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