Gut molecule research could help control glucose levels

Most of us know that insulin plays an important role in removing excess glucose from the blood, but did you know it isn’t the only molecule involved in the process? Another molecule that plays a role is glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

Now Professor Marco Falasca and his team from Curtin University, with the support of Diabetes Australia, are investigating ways of increasing the amount of GLP-1 somebody produces and whether that can help control glucose levels.

“We know GLP-1 is released in the gut when people eat. It has a key role to play in regulating blood glucose levels,” Professor Falasca said.

“We also know that people with diabetes have a decreased ability to release GLP-1, so what we want to do it find a way of increasing the body’s production of the molecule.

“Researchers have tried to produce drugs that mimic GLP-1 but they haven’t been too successful so we are trying a different approach.

“There is a compound in the body, belonging to the lipid family, which stimulates the release and production of GLP-1. What we are trying to do is determine if this lipid, or molecules similar to it, can be used to stimulate the production of GLP-1.

“Hopefully, if we are successful, this could lead to a new therapy for supporting people with diabetes.”

If you are interested in helping Diabetes Australia support research like this you can find out more here.