The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a major multicenter clinical research study aimed at discovering whether modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity or treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin (Glucophage) could prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in study participants. At the beginning of the DPP, participants were all overweight and had blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes—a condition called pre-diabetes.
Run from Diabetes!
The DPP found that participants who lost a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity sharply reduced their chances of developing diabetes.
Taking metformin also reduced risk, although less dramatically. The DPP resolved its research questions earlier than projected and, following the recommendation of an external monitoring board, the study was halted a year early. The researchers published their findings in the February 7, 2002, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study of two groups.
The first group, called the lifestyle intervention group, received intensive training in diet, physical activity, and behavior modification. By eating less fat and fewer calories and exercising for a total of 150 minutes a week, they aimed to lose 7 percent of their body weight and maintain that loss.
The second group took 850 mg of metformin twice a day.
The third group received placebo pills instead of metformin. The metformin and placebo groups also received information about diet and exercise but no intensive motivational counseling. A fourth group was treated with the drug troglitazone (Rezulin), but this part of the study was discontinued after researchers discovered that troglitazone can cause serious liver damage. The participants in this group were followed but not included as one of the intervention groups.
The first group—those receiving intensive individual counseling and motivational support on effective diet, exercise, and behavior modification—reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. This finding was true across all participating ethnic groups and for both men and women. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent. About 5 percent of the lifestyle intervention group developed diabetes each year during the study period, compared with 11 percent of those in the placebo group.
The second group taking metformin reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 31 percent. Metformin was effective for both men and women, but it was least effective in people aged 45 and older. Metformin was most effective in people 25 to 44 years old and in those with a body mass index of 35 or higher, meaning they were at least 60 pounds overweight. About 7.8 percent of the metformin group developed diabetes each year during the study, compared with 11 percent of the group receiving the placebo.
Metformin possible side effects (drugs.com)
Would rather go for a walk
Possible side effects using Metformin:
Diarrhea; gas; headache; indigestion; nausea; stomach upset; temporary metallic taste; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Metformin:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain or discomfort; dizziness or lightheadedness; fast or difficult breathing; feeling of being unusually cold; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; general feeling of being unwell; muscle pain or weakness; slow or irregular heartbeat; unusual drowsiness; unusual or persistent stomach pain or discomfort; unusual tiredness or weakness.