Overnight lowering of free fatty acids with Acipimox improves insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in obese diabetic and nondiabetic subjects.

Decreased plasma levels of free fatty acids are associated with low insulin resistance and high glucose uptake in obese diabetic and nondiabetic individuals.

This research work was carried out to determine the relationship between serum concentrations of free fatty acids and insulin resistance and glucose uptake. Researchers administered placebo treatment or the anti-lipolytic drug Acipimox overnight to a control group (9 lean subjects) and an obese group (11 type 2 diabetic patients, 13 nondiabetic subjects, and 10 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance). The insulin resistance and glucose tolerance levels were also measured in all the subjects.

Researchers discovered that obese subjects given Acipimox had 50% and 60-70% decrease in plasma levels of fasting insulin and free fatty acids respectively. Compared to placebo, Acipimox doubled subject's insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in this study. The areas under the insulin and glucose curves of the groups given Acipimox were 30% lower than in the groups placed on placebo. 

This study was not about the power of whole food plant based nutrition to also decrease plasma levels of free fatty acids. However, the results of this study do demonstrate that lower serum concentrations of free fatty acids may reduce insulin resistance and enhance glucose uptake in obese diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.

Research Summary Information

  • 1999
  • Santomauro AT, Boden G, Silva ME, Rocha DM, Santos RF, Ursich MJ, Strassmann PG, Wajchenberg BL.
  • Santomauro AT, Boden G, Silva ME, Rocha DM, Santos RF, Ursich MJ, Strassmann PG, Wajchenberg BL.
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • Source of funding disclosure found
  • This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants R01-AG-07988 (G.B.), R01-AA-10221 (G.B.), and RR-00349 (General Clinical Research Center branch of the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health).
  • No potential conflicts disclosure found
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