Acarbose on insulin resistance after an oral fat load: A double-blind, placebo controlled study

Giuseppe Derosa, Pamela Maffioli, Angela D'Angelo, Elena Fogari, Lucio Bianchi, Arrigo F G Cicero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: We evaluated the effects of acarbose on insulin resistance parameters in diabetic patients before and after a standardized oral fat load (OFL). Materials and methods: Patients were assigned to take acarbose 50 mg three times a day or placebo; after the first month, acarbose was titrated to 100 mg three times a day. We evaluated body mass index, glycemic control, fasting plasma insulin (FPI), post-prandial plasma insulin (PPI), homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), blood pressure, lipid profile, retinol binding protein-4 (RBP-4), adiponectin (ADN), tumor necrosis factor-α and resistin (r). Furthermore, at the baseline and at the end of the study, all patients underwent an OFL and an euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. Results: We observed that acarbose was better than placebo in improving glycemic control and HOMA-IR and that it was also more effective in improving lipid profile, RBP-4 and ADN. Regarding FPI, PPI and r, we did not obtain any significant differences between the two groups. During the second OFL, performed after 7 months of therapy with acarbose, we observed a significant decrease of blood glucose, lipid profile and all insulin resistance parameters peaks compared with the OFL administered at baseline with acarbose, but not with placebo. Conclusion: Acarbose was more effective than placebo in improving glycemic and lipid profile and in reducing the post-OFL peaks of the various parameters including the insulin resistance biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Acarbose
  • Adiponectin
  • Insulin resistance
  • Oral fat load
  • Resistin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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