Monday, November 11, 2013


I came cross this study, published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Nov 7, 2013. The lead investigator is Dr David Preiss from University of Glasgow.
They were testing the hypothesis that in obesed patients with abdominal obesity and stable CAD, especially if they had a past history of heart attacks, taking metformin ( an Insulin sensitiser ) will reduce atherosclerotic plaque formation and by inference, reduce the chance of a recurrent heart attack.
They studied 173 such patients with stable CAD, abdominal obesity and raised BMI. These were all non diabetics. Half received metformin, in addition to standard stable CAD preventive therapy and the other have just standard stable CAD prevention therapy. They chose to use carotid intimal media thickness ( CIMT ) as a measure of atherosclerosis progression.
After 18 months they found no difference in the CIMT but those taking metformin had additional weight lost of about 3.2Kg and also lost weight significantly.
The authors concluded that adding metformin to the standard regime for stable CAD did not prevent plaque formation..
I must say that I find this idea of using metformin very intriguing as the UKPDS did show that metformin did reduce infarction rates. I would expect some plaque regression. Metformin, by making the body more sensitive to insulin should allow less inflammatory molecules from being released by the obesed abdomen and so lessen atherosclerosis. Perhaps 18 months was too short. Perhaps CIMT was not a good way to see plaque regression.
I certainly would think that we should do more work on this. It is a simple way to lessen AMI risk. The downside is, one more tablet in a disease that needs many tablets, to treat and prevent.


Winston said...

I understand that researchers have found an extract in ginger called gingerol that can anable the body's cells to absorb blood sugar independently of insulin.

hmatter said...

Intresting Winston. I must look into this one.
We are taught that it must go through the insulin then glucose receptors

Winston said...

Doc, the webpage for gingerol research can be found at:
Thank you.

Winston said...

I have emailed the company of one 3-in-1 beverage company to query them about their rather high sugar content.
I now noticed that they have taken the sugar content off their label.
I think they have included it as part of their calorie content.
However, this calorific content is most probably lumped with those of other contents.
Anyway, it would be far better to have the sugar content separately listed as grams.
This way consumers can easily work out the teaspoons of sugar as 4grams equal one teaspoon.
Other ingredients like cholesterol, salt and trans fat must also be listed separately so that consumers will know exactly what they are consuming.
Perhaps you can start the ball rolling in this matter.
Thank you.