Introduction. Impaired free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism is closely linked to insulin resistance. Our aim was to evaluate plasma FFA changes in insulin resistance in a physiological situation after improvement of insulin sensitivity by metformin. Methods. A double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention with metformin was carried out in patients with insulin resistance. Nineteen patients were randomized to receive metformin 850 mg b.i.d. during 6 weeks or placebo. Participants underwent a mental stress test and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) before and after treatment. Results. Fasting plasma glucose, FFA, and HOMA-IR tended to decrease after metformin, suggesting improved insulin sensitivity. FFA concentrations during the mental stress test showed a similar pattern after metformin, albeit lower at all time points, in contrast to the placebo group. The decrease in fasting plasma FFAs was positively associated to the decrease in HbA1c (r = 0.70; P = 0.03) and in fasting glucose (r = 0.74; P = 0.01). The suppression of plasma FFAs during OGTT did not change by metformin or placebo. Conclusion. Metformin in insulin resistance did not lead to improved FFA dynamics despite a trend of improved insulin sensitivity. Metformin most likely decreases plasma FFAs mainly by suppressing fasting FFA concentrations and not by suppression of acute stress-induced lipolysis.,
Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Department of Cardiology

Castro Cabezas, M, van Wijk, J.P.H, Elte, J.W.F, & Klop, B. (2012). Effects of metformin on the regulation of free fatty acids in insulin resistance: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/394623