Objective: Metformin has been reported to reduce alpha-dicarbonyls, which are known to contribute to diabetic complications. It is unclear whether this is due to direct quenching of alpha-dicarbonyls or to an improvement in glycemic control. We therefore compared the effects of metformin versus repaglinide, an antihyperglycemic agent with an insulin-secreting mechanism, on the levels of the alpha-dicarbonyl 3-deoxyglucosone (3DG). Methods: We conducted a single-center, double-masked, double-dummy, crossover study involving 96 nonobese patients with type 2 diabetes. After a 1-month run-in on diet-only treatment, patients were randomized to either repaglinide (6 mg daily) followed by metformin (2 g daily) or vice versa each during 4 months with a 1-month washout between interventions. Results: 3DG levels decreased after both metformin (-19.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): -23.5, -14.8)) and repaglinide (-20.8% (95% CI: -24.9, -16.3)) treatments, but no difference was found between treatments (1.8% (95% CI: -3.8, 7.8)). Regardless of the treatment, changes in glycemic variables were associated with changes in 3DG. Specifically, 3DG decreased by 22.7% (95% CI: 19.0, 26.5) per S. D. decrease in fasting plasma glucose (PG), by 20.0% (95% CI: 16.2, 23.9) per S. D. decrease in seven-point mean plasma glucose, by 22.5% (95% CI: 18.6, 26.6) per S. D. decrease in area under the curve for PG, by 17.2% (95% CI: 13.8, 20.6) per S. D. decrease in HbAlc, and by 10.9% (95% CI: 6.4, 15.5) per S. D. decrease in Amadori albumin. In addition, decreases in 3DG were associated with decreases in advanced glycation endproducts and endothelial markers. Conclusion: Improved glycemic control induced by both metformin and repaglinide is associated with a reduction in 3DG levels in nonobese individuals with type 2 diabetes. This may constitute a shared metabolic pathway through which both treatments have a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular risk.
- Endocrinology and Diabetes