Impaired glucose tolerant (IGT) adults are at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Exercise or metformin reduce CVD risk, but the efficacy of combining treatments is unclear. To determine the effects of exercise training plus metformin, compared to each treatment alone, on CVD risk factors in IGT adults. Subjects were assigned to: placebo (P), metformin (M), exercise plus placebo (EP), or exercise plus metformin (EM) (8/group). In a double-blind design, P or 2000mg/d of M were administered for 12 weeks and half performed aerobic and resistance training 3 days/week for approximately 60 minutes/day at 70% pre-training heart rate peak. Outcomes included: adiposity, blood pressure (BP), lipids and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Z-scores were calculated to determine metabolic syndrome severity. M and EM, but not EP, decreased body weight compared to P (p <0.05). M and EP lowered systolic BP by 6% (p < 0.05), diastolic BP by 6% (p < 0.05), and hs-CRP by 20% (M: trend p = 0.06; EP: p < 0.05) compared to P. Treatments raised HDL-cholesterol (p < 0.05; EM: trend p = 0.06) compared to P and lowered triacyglycerol (p < 0.05) and metabolic syndrome Z-score compared to baseline (EP; trend p = 0.07 and EM or M; p < 0.05). Although exercise and/or metformin improve some CVD risk factors, only training or metformin alone lowered hs-CRP and BP. Thus, metformin may attenuate the effects of training on some CVD risk factors and metabolic syndrome severity in IGT adults.
Malin, S. K., Nightingale, J., Choi, S., Chipkin, S. R. & Braun, B. (2012). Metformin modifies the exercise training effects on risk factors for cardiovascular disease in impaired glucose tolerant adults. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(1), 10.1002/oby.20235. doi:10.1002/oby.20235.