, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 268–274

Improving insulin resistance with traditional Chinese medicine in type 2 diabetic patients

  • Menglei Chao
  • Dajin Zou
  • Yifei Zhang
  • Yuhong Chen
  • Miao Wang
  • Hong Wu
  • Guang Ning
  • Weiqing Wang
Original Paper


Some clinical studies and animal researches have evaluated the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and compared its effects with placebo or other antidiabetic drugs. TCM involves three particular plants, as an antidiabetic drug. Our present research planned to evaluate the efficacy of TCM on insulin sensitivity and other related metabolic factors in type 2 diabetic patients. There were 43 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients enrolled in this study, who did not use any antidiabetic drugs before. They were randomly assigned into TCM and placebo groups, administrated with TCM and placebo, respectively. Glucose disposal rate, fasting plasma glucose, postprandial plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and other metabolic components were assessed at baseline and end point. Glucose disposal rate increased from 5.12 ± 2.20 to 6.37 ± 3.51 mg kg−1 min−1 in the TCM group, ANCOVA analysis showed that glucose disposal rate in the TCM group was significantly improved as compared to that in the placebo group (P < 0.05). Other metabolic related components such as fasting plasma glucose, postprandial plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, retinol binding protein 4 were improved in TCM group, but no statistical differences was detected between the two groups. No severe side effect was found in TCM group. TCM can ameliorate insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and it is safe and effective in newly diagnosed diabetic patients.


Traditional Chinese medicine Type 2 diabetes Insulin resistance Glucose disposal rate 



Type 2 diabetes


Traditional Chinese medicine


Fasting plasma glucose


Postprandial plasma glucose


Glycated hemoglobin


Fasting plasma insulin


Postprandial plasma insulin




Total cholesterol


High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol


Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol


High performance liquid chromatography


Retinol binding protein 4


C-reactive protein




Glucose disposal rate


Body mass index


Systolic blood pressure


Diastolic blood pressure


AMP-activated protein kinase


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Menglei Chao
    • 1
  • Dajin Zou
    • 2
  • Yifei Zhang
    • 1
  • Yuhong Chen
    • 1
  • Miao Wang
    • 2
  • Hong Wu
    • 2
  • Guang Ning
    • 1
  • Weiqing Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Shanghai Clinical Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases and Division of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases of E-Institutes of Shanghai UniversitiesRui-Jin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyChang-Hai Hospital affiliated to the Second Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Shanghai Clinical Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Shanghai Institute of Endocrinology and MetabolismRuijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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