Targeting the gastrointestinal tract to treat type 2 diabetes

Paige V. Bauer, Frank A. Duca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The rising global rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity present a significant economic and social burden, underscoring the importance for effective and safe therapeutic options. The success of glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, along with the potent glucose-lowering effects of bariatric surgery, highlight the gastrointestinal tract as a potential target for diabetes treatment. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that the gut plays a prominent role in the ability of metformin to lower glucose levels. As such, the current review highlights some of the current and potential pathways in the gut that could be targeted to improve glucose homeostasis, such as changes in nutrient sensing, gut peptides, gut microbiota and bile acids. A better understanding of these pathways will lay the groundwork for novel gut-targeted antidiabetic therapies, some of which have already shown initial promise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R95-R113
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Bile acids
  • Gut
  • Gut microbiota
  • Gut sensing
  • Metformin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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