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Diabetes Medications Don't Lower Inflammation
Date:9/15/2009

volunteers had a body-mass index above 30, which is considered obese. The majority of the study participants were white, and about one-quarter of the group were smokers.

The volunteers were randomized into one of four groups: placebo alone, placebo plus insulin glargine (Lantus), metformin (an oral anti-diabetes medication) alone or metformin plus insulin glargine. Study volunteers also received advice on diet and weight.

Overall, the volunteers lost an average of 3.2 pounds during the 14-week study, except for the insulin and placebo group.

As for markers of inflammation, the researchers found reductions in inflammation (as measured through levels of C-reactive protein, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2) for all of the groups. The insulin-plus-placebo group, however, had the smallest reduction in inflammatory markers. For example, C-reactive protein levels went down in the placebo group by 19 percent, in the metformin group by 16 percent and the metformin and insulin group by 20 percent. However, the insulin plus placebo group went down just 3 percent.

Pradhan said the researchers adjusted the data to account for the weight loss, and still found a similar effect. She said it may be that the weight changes affected the distribution of fat, and that abdominal fat tends to have more of an effect on inflammation.

"While these two agents didn't lower inflammation [any more than the placebo], they did lower glucose levels and are excellent drugs for preventing microvascular outcomes, like eye and kidney diseases," said Pradhan. The findings also confirm that diet and exercise can affect inflammation levels, she added.

"While this is a well-conducted study, there are no big surprises here," said Dr. Vivian Fonseca, chief of endocrinology at Scott & White Clinic in Temple, Tex., and Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, College Station. "There are many drugs that benefit people and reduce cardiovascul
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