Gut hormone may help lower blood sugar levels

WASHINGTON - Canadian researchers have identified a novel function of a gut hormone that might potentially play a vital role in lowering glucose levels in diabetes.

In the study conducted using rats, Dr. Tony Lam at the Toronto General Research Institute and the University of Toronto discovered that activating receptors of the cholecystokinin (CCK) peptide hormone in the gut rapidly and potently lowers blood glucose levels by triggering a signal to the brain and then to the liver to lower glucose or sugar production.

In the same experiment, CCK failed to lower blood glucose in rodents fed a high-fat diet for three days.

“Our findings reveal a novel role for the CCK hormone and suggest that CCK-resistance in the gut may contribute to high blood sugar levels in response to high-fat feeding in rodents,” said Lam.

“Understanding how to overcome CCK-resistance in the gut so that blood sugars can be lowered could be a novel therapeutic approach to diabetes and obesity.

“This paper compliments our study that was published last year in Nature indicating that in the future, we may be able to design a drug to target the gut to lower glucose levels in patients with diabetes,” he added.

However, according to the researchers, further studies are needed to determine whether enhancing CCK action in the gut of humans is effective and safe in lowering glucose levels in healthy individuals as well as patients with diabetes and obesity. (ANI)

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