Gut Hormone Could be Key to Blood Sugar

Lab study may point to new direction for diabetes treatment

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- A gut hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) plays an important role in the control of blood sugar production in the liver, according to Canadian researchers.

"We show for the first time that CCK from the gut activates receptors to regulate glucose levels. It does so via a gut-brain-liver neuronal axis," Tony Lam of the University of Toronto said in a news release.

CCK binds to local receptors on nerves of the small intestine, triggering a message to the brain which, in turn, tells the liver to stop producing glucose.

Lam and colleagues also found that rats fed a high-fat diet for a few days became resistant to CCK.

They said their findings suggest that CCK resistance, like insulin resistance, may be a major contributor to high blood sugar often seen in people with a high-fat diet. The results also suggest that drugs that target CCK receptors may help fight diabetes.

The study appears in the Aug. 6 issue of the journal Cell Metabolism.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about diabetes.

SOURCE: Cell Press, news release, Aug. 5, 2009

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