Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Diabetes Care. 2012 May;35(5):1119-25. doi: 10.2337/dc11-2050. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Colesevelam improves oral but not intravenous glucose tolerance by a mechanism independent of insulin sensitivity and β-cell function.

Author information

  • 1Division of Metabolism, Department of Medicine, VA Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.



To determine the mechanism by which the bile acid sequestrant colesevelam improves glycemic control.


We performed a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT) with minimal model analysis and a meal tolerance test (MTT) in 20 subjects with impaired fasting glucose (11 men, 9 women; mean age 60.7 ± 1.9 years, BMI 29.4 ± 0.9 kg/m(2)) in a single-blind study after 2 weeks of placebo treatment and 8 weeks of colesevelam 3.75 g daily. From these tests, insulin sensitivity, β-cell function, and glucose tolerance were determined, along with gastrointestinal peptide levels during the MTT.


Fasting plasma glucose and HbA(1c) decreased with colesevelam (from 5.9 ± 0.1 to 5.7 ± 0.1 mmol/L, P < 0.05, and from 5.86 ± 0.06 to 5.76 ± 0.06%, P = 0.01, respectively), but fasting insulin did not change. Colesevelam had no effect on any FSIGT measures. In contrast, the MTT incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for both glucose (from 249.3 ± 28.5 to 198.8 ± 23.6 mmol/L · min, P < 0.01) and insulin (from 20,130 [13,542-35,292] to 13,086 [9,804-21,138] pmol/L · min, P < 0.05) decreased with colesevelam. However, the ratio of iAUC insulin to iAUC glucose was not changed. iAUC for cholecystokinin (CCK) increased (from 43.2 [0-130.1] to 127.1 [47.2-295.2] pmol/L · min, P < 0.01), while iAUC for fibroblast growth factor 19 decreased (from 11,185 [1,346-17,661] to 2,093 [673-6,707] pg/mL · min, P < 0.01) with colesevelam. However, iAUC for glucagon, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, and glucagon-like peptide 1 did not change.


Colesevelam improves oral but not intravenous glucose tolerance without changing insulin sensitivity, β-cell function, or incretins. This effect may be at least partially explained by the colesevelam-induced increase in CCK.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk