Metformin increases insulin sensitivity and plasma β-endorphin in human subjects

H. Y. Ou, J. T. Cheng, E. H. Yu, T. J. Wu

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23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Metformin has been widely used in clinical type 2 diabetes treatment and prevention. The present study was designed to explore the effect on people with a sedentary lifestyle at therapeutic doses. Twenty-two physically-inactive volunteers with normal glucose tolerance were studied. Escalating doses of metformin in low-dose (250 mg), intermediate-dose (500 mg), and high-dose (750 mg) treatment three times per day were administrated into each subject for a three-week treatment period. Fasting plasma glucose, A1C, HOMA-IR for insulin resistance, lipid profile, and plasma β-endorphin-like immunoreactivity (BER) were measured before treatment and weekly at the end of each dosing period. Metformin significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose and HOMA-IR in healthy humans after receiving this treatment at therapeutic doses including low-dose (5%, 17%), intermediate-Metformin has been widely used in clinical type 2 diabetes treatment and prevention. The present study was designed to explore the effect on people with a sedentary lifestyle at therapeutic doses. Twenty-two physically-inactive volunteers with normal glucose tolerance were studied. Escalating doses of metformin in low-dose (250 mg), intermediate-dose (500 mg), and high-dose (750 mg) treatment three times per day were administrated into each subject for a three-week treatment period. Fasting plasma glucose, A1C, HOMA-IR for insulin resistance, lipid profile, and plasma β-endorphin-like immunoreactivity (BER) were measured before treatment and weekly at the end of each dosing period. Metformin significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose and HOMA-IR in healthy humans after receiving this treatment at therapeutic doses including low-dose (5%, 17%), intermediate-dose (6%, 25%) and high-dose treatment (6%, 21%). Plasma BER was also increased from 135.46 ± 61.73 pg/ml to 137.52 ± 66.11 pg/ml by low-dosing (p = 0.39), to 139.17 ± 64.08 pg/ml by intermediate-dosing (p = 0.32), and to 149.59 ± 63.32 pg/ml by high-dosing (p < 0.05). Also, serum cholesterol decreased significantly using metformin at therapeutic doses including low-dose (4%), intermediate-dose (8%) and high-dose treatment (7%). However, metformin failed to modify levels of serum HDL-cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP) in healthy subjects. Also, the reduction of serum cholesterol by metformin did not correlate to the increase in insulin sensitivity. In conclusion, metformin causes a significant parallel increase in insulin sensitivity and plasma β-endorphin level in human subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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