Research paper| Volume 75, ISSUE 2-3, P175-181, February 1989

Effects of bezafibrate on insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity in hyperlipidemic patients with and without diabetes

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      Although it has been reported that bezafibrate influences carbohydrate metabolism, this possibility has never been properly evaluated in a controlled clinical trial. In this study we attempted to evaluate the effects of bezafibrate on plasma lipoproteins, glucose tolerance, insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity in a group of hypertriglyceridemic patients with and without diabetes. Sixteen hyperlipidemic patients (10 males and 6 females) participated in the study. Eight had type IIB and 8 type IV hyperlipoproteinemia; 6 of them also had non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. The study was performed according to a double blind, crossover design: after 1 month wash-out period in which patients were on diet alone, they underwent, in a random order, a period of placebo therapy and another period in which they received a single daily dose of a long-acting bezafibrate preparation (400 mg) administered in the evening. Each treatment lasted 2 months. Total plasma and VLDL triglyceride concentrations were consistently reduced by bezafibrate (−46%, P < 0.001; and −50%, P<0.001). Total and VLDL-cholesterol were also reduced by bezafibrate. The effects of bezafibrate on lipoproteins were similar in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Bezafibrate treatment did not influence fasting blood glucose concentration, glucose tolerance, peripheral insulin sensitivity or insulin secretion. In conclusion, the results of this controlled trial clearly indicate that bezafibrate can be successfully employed to lower plasma lipid levels in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia.


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