Background: Pinitol is thought to mediate insulin action and improve insulin resistance. We evaluated the effects of pinitol on glycemic control, insulin resistance and adipocytokine levels in type 2 diabetic patients. Material and Method: A total of 66 patients with type 2 diabetes who had been taking oral hypoglycemic agents for at least 3 months were enrolled and randomized to receive pinitol (n = 33) or matching placebo (n = 33). All subjects took 1,200 mg pinitol or placebo and maintained their current oral hypoglycemic agents throughout the study. Results: Mean HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, and HOMA-IR were significantly lowered more in patients taking pinitol than in those given a placebo. Patients who had an HbA1c over 8.0% showed a greater reduction (p < 0.01) than those who had an HbA1c below 8.0% (p =0.16). In addition, in the group of patients with a HOMA-IR over 2.5, there was a significant decrease in HbA1c compared to that in the group of patients with a HOMA-IR below 2.5. There were no differences in the changes in adiponectin, FFA and CRP between the two groups. Conclusions: Pinitol can mediate insulin action to improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, especially in patients with insulin resistance.

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