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J Diabetes Complications. 2011 Jul-Aug;25(4):258-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

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

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Pavia, PAVIA, Italy.



We evaluated the effects of acarbose on insulin resistance parameters in diabetic patients before and after a standardized oral fat load (OFL).


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.


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.


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.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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