Thursday, March 31, 2011

No benefit in metformin IR study

A study into the pharmacological management of insulin resistance using metformin, failed to demonstrate any benefit.

The research was conducted by the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia and the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Centre, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA, in collaboration with the Waltham Equine Studies Group. Lead researcher was PhD candidate Kellie Tinworth.

In insulin resistance, insulin seems unable to exert its normal effect. This is particularly noticeable in relation to glucose metabolism. As a result, the body releases increasing amounts of insulin, ending up with normal or raised blood glucose levels despite high concentrations of insulin.

Insulin resistance appears to be a significant risk factor for conditions such as laminitis.

Therefore, it is important to prevent IR from developing, or to manage it before it contributes in turn to the development or progression of other potentially life-threatening conditions.

While the correct management of energy intake and exercise levels is thought to be essential, in some cases medication is also considered, especially when increased exercise is not possible.

No licensed drugs are currently available for treating insulin resistance in horses and ponies. Metformin has been suggested as a possible treatment for the condition. It appears to enhance insulin sensitivity of peripheral tissues without stimulating insulin secretion.

The research team hoped to confirm that metformin had a positive effect on insulin and glucose dynamics in insulin-resistant ponies, so that it could be used as a positive control in other studies.

Six ponies that were insulin-resistant, but not obese, took part in the study. Three ponies were allocated to the treatment group, and they received metformin (at 15mg/kg bodyweight orally, twice daily) for 21days. The control group received a placebo.

After a "wash out" period, the trial was repeated with the ponies being swapped between the treatment and placebo groups.

The response to metformin (and the placebo) was assessed using a frequently-sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT).
The researchers found no measurable benefits of metformin. No significant change was noted in any of the indices of insulin sensitivity. Neither was there any change in bodyweight, body condition score or cresty neck score.

Read more at:

No comments: