Voglibose*, a generic drug often used in combination with sulfonylureas to control blood glucose levels, appears to delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes in people who are predisposed to the disease.
A study conducted by the Jutendo University School of medicine in Tokyo concluded that patients from impaired glucose tolerance were 40 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they regularly took volglibose three times daily.
The study tracked 1,780 Japanese patients who were considered to be at high risk of developing type 2. A little more than half the patients-897-took volglibose three times a day while the remaining 883 patients took a placebo.
While 106 of the placebo recipients went on to develop full-blown type 2, only 50 of the patients taking voglibose did so. Voglibose recipients were also 54 percent more likely than their placebo-taking counterparts to achieve normal blood sugar levels.
Interestingly, the study was originally intended to last three years. But the results from the administration of volglibose came so quickly and dramatically after less than a year that the study was terminated.
Results of the study were recently published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
*Voglibose is defined as an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor that is used to lower post-meal blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.