News ID: 115097
Published: 0329 GMT April 08, 2015

Metformin, resveratrol target gut to lower blood sugar

Metformin, resveratrol target gut to lower blood sugar

Researchers at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute have discovered metformin (the most widely prescribed type 2 diabetic medication) and resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, peanuts and blueberries, trigger novel signaling pathways in the small intestine to lower blood sugar.

The team, led by Dr. Tony Lam and his Banting fellow Dr. Frank Duca, graduate student Clemence Cote, and Vanier Scholar Brittany Rasmussen used obese and diabetic rat models to discover that metformin and resveratrol respectively activate molecules known as AMPK and sirtuin 1 in the small intestine and trigger a neuronal network involving the gut, brain and liver to lower blood sugar, Medical Xpress reported.

Metformin activates duodenal AMPK and a neuronal network to lower glucose production" and "Resveratrol activates duodenal Sirt1 to reverse insulin resistance in rats through a neuronal network.

Although research on resveratrol in cell culture and animal studies has shown promising effects on inhibiting cancer cells, anti-inflammation capabilities and decreases in glucose or blood sugar levels, the compound's effects on humans is unclear.

"Almost 80 percent of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity, making it harder for them to control their blood sugar levels. Our work shows that these two antidiabetic agents target the intestine directly, a previously underappreciated organ in diabetes therapy, to lower blood glucose levels, even in obese rats or those with diabetes. This knowledge will help us to develop more effective, targeted drugs, with less side effects. " said Dr. Frank Duca, a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Tony Lam.

   
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