Many individuals with type 2 diabetes produce abnormally low levels of a gut hormone called GLP-1, which normally stimulates insulin release from the pancreas.
Now a new study shows that GLP-1 production by special cells in the gut known as L-cells can be restored in patients with recent onset type 2 diabetes following three to 12 months of treatment with liraglutide, a drug that is similar to native GLP-1.
"This study shows that chronic liraglutide therapy induces a robust enhancement of GLP-1 secretion by the body that may hold implications for the long-term effects of this medication in patients," said Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, senior author of the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism study.
Explore further: Liraglutide doesn't affect gastric emptying in type 1 diabetes
Thomas Forst et al, Effects on α- and β-cell function of sequentially adding empagliflozin and linagliptin to therapy in people with type 2 diabetes previously receiving metformin: An exploratory mechanistic study, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (2017). DOI: 10.1111/dom.12838