Glucose is the prominent molecule that characterizes diabetes and, like the vast majority of nutrients in our diet, it is absorbed and enters the bloodstream directly through the small intestine, and hence small intestine physiology impacts blood glucose levels directly. Accordingly, intestinal regulatory modulators represent a promising avenue through which diabetic blood glucose levels might be moderated clinically. Despite the critical role of small intestine in blood glucose homeostasis, most physiological diabetes research has focused on other organs, such as the pancreas, kidney, and liver. We contend that an improved understanding of intestinal regulatory mediators may be fundamental for the development of first-line preventive and therapeutic interventions in patients with diabetes and diabetes-related diseases. This review summarizes the major important intestinal regulatory mediators, discusses how they influence intestinal glucose absorption, and suggests possible candidates for future diabetes research and the development of anti-diabetic therapeutic agents.
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism