Effect of colesevelam hydrochloride on glycemia and insulin sensitivity in men with the metabolic syndrome

Gloria L Vega, Fredrick L Dunn, Scott M Grundy

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21 Scopus citations


Colesevelam hydrochloride (colesevelam) lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The present study examined the effects of colesevelam treatment in nondiabetic men with metabolic syndrome. Twenty men completed the study, which consisted of two 8-week phases of treatment with colesevelam (3.75 g/day) or placebo and a 6-week washout between study phases. Of the 20 men, 17 took statins throughout. The fasting plasma LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, and glycated hemoglobin levels were measured in the last 2 weeks of each study phase. Nonesterified fatty acids and 3-hydroxybutyrate, insulin, and glucose were measured hourly for 5 hours during fasting and during an extended glucose tolerance test. The colesevelam treatment reduced LDL cholesterol from 96 ± 28 mg/dl to 78 ± 32 mg/dl (p <0.006) and nonhigh-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 8.2% (p = 0.07). Triglycerides increased by 17% (p <0.02). The fasting plasma glucose was reduced by 5 mg/dl (p <0.03), and glycated hemoglobin remained unchanged by colesevelam. No significant treatment changes were noted for the 2-hour glucose test or insulin sensitivity. The fasting nonesterified fatty acid level was significantly reduced with treatment but the 3-hydroxybutyrate level was unchanged. Insulin-mediated suppression of nonesterified fatty acids during extended glucose tolerance test was significantly less effective during treatment than during placebo. In conclusion, colesevelam significantly reduced the LDL cholesterol levels, even though the baseline LDL cholesterol level was low owing to statin treatment. The fasting and postprandial blood glucose level but not the glycated hemoglobin level was lowered by colesevelam therapy. The effect on fasting glucose was unrelated to the changes in insulin resistance or fatty acid oxidation. Finally, an increase in triglycerides with colesevelam therapy might have been related to a lesser suppression of nonesterified fatty acids levels in the postprandial state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1129-1135
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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