Acarbose reduces blood pressure in sucrose-induced hypertension in rats

Z. Madar*, E. C. Melamed, R. Zimlichman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypertension is often associated with impaired glucose tolerance and high insulin levels, factors that contribute to insulin resistance. The present study evaluates the effect of acarbose, a hypoglycemic drug that inhibits carbohydrate digestion in sucrose-induced hypertension in rats. The effects of diets fed to 3 groups of rats for a 16-week period were studied: sucrose + NaCl (1% wet volume [w/v]) with acarbose (0.04% wet weight [w/w]), sucrose + NaCl (1% w/v) without acarbose, and a third diet of complex carbohydrates. There was no statistical difference in the body weight between rats fed with or without acarbose. Fasting glucose levels were significantly lowered when treated with acarbose. Postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels were attenuated in rats fed sucrose + acarbose. Systolic blood pressure increased significantly (p < 0.001) in rats fed sucrose + NaCl for 3 months, whereas systolic blood pressure of acarbose-fed rats remained at the initial level. Blood pressure changes in the complex carbohydrate-fed group were lower than in rats fed sucrose. The urinary volume, Na+, and K+ of rats fed acarbose tended to increase compared to the acarbose-free diet (p < 0.05). We conclude that high insulin levels, impaired glucose tolerance and Na+ retention may contribute to the development of sucrose-induced hypertension. Acarbose prevents sucrose-induceed increases in plasma glucose and insulin levels. Increases in urinary Na+ may contribute indirectly to this effect with resultant normal systolic blood pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Acarbose
  • Blood pressure
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Sucrose


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