In a double-blind study we have compared the effect of 50 mg acarbose, 100 mg acarbose, 4.2 g pectin, a combination of 50 mg acarbose with 4.2 g pectin, and placebo on plasma glucose, plasma insulin, breath hydrogen and hypoglycaemic symptoms after a normal carbohydrate rich meal in nine patients with previous gastric surgery. Fifty milligrams acarbose, 100 mg acarbose and the combination of 50 mg acarbose with 4.2 g pectin significantly inhibited the postprandial peak glucose concentration (p less than 0.01). The lowest plasma glucose concentration, observed 60-150 minutes after ingestion of the meal, was significantly increased by the addition of 50 mg acarbose (p less than 0.01) and the combination of acarbose with pectin (p less than 0.05). The combination of acarbose with pectin was the only treatment that significantly inhibited the plasma insulin peak (p less than 0.05). Eight of nine patients had symptoms of hypoglycaemia on placebo, two on 50 mg acarbose (p less than 0.05), two on 100 mg acarbose (p less than 0.05), five on pectin (ns), and two on the combination of acarbose and pectin (p less than 0.05). All treatments with acarbose induced significant increases in breath hydrogen excretion (p less than 0.05).
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