Preclinical studies have shown a potential osteoanabolic effect of metformin but human studies of how metformin affects bone turnover are few. A post hoc sub-study analysis of an 18-month multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), randomizing participants to metformin versus placebo both in combination with different insulin analogue regimens (Metformin + Insulin vs. Placebo + Insulin). Patients were not treatment naive at baseline, 83% had received metformin, 69% had received insulin, 57.5% had received the combination of metformin and insulin before entering the study. Bone formation and resorption were assessed by measuring, N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (P1NP) and C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) at baseline and end of study. The influence of gender, age, smoking, body mass index (BMI), T2DM duration, glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), c-reactive protein (CRP) and insulin dosage was also included in the analyses. The levels of bone formation marker P1NP and bone resorption marker CTX increased significantly in both groups during the trial. P1NP increased less in the Metformin + Insulin compared to the placebo + insulin group (p = 0.001) (between group difference change), while the increases in CTX levels (p = 0.11) were not different. CRP was inversely associated (p = 0.012) and insulin dosage (p = 0.011) was positively related with change in P1NP levels. BMI (p = 0.002) and HbA1C (p = 0.037) were inversely associated with change in CTX levels. During 18 months of treatment with metformin or placebo, both in combination with insulin, bone turnover increased in both groups. But the pattern was different as the bone formation marker (P1NP) increased less during Metformin + Insulin treatment, while change in bone resorption (CTX) was not significantly different between the two groups.
- Bone turnover
- Type 2 diabetes