As a way of background, we have taste cells in the further regions of small intestine. The same type of taste cells present on our tongue. These cells in the gut are called the L-cells. These cells produce a very, very potent compound called GLP-1 which is the holy grail of diabetic research and treatment. The newest drugs affect this pathway (Byetta injections, Januvia). The problem with our own production is that it only lasts about 2 minutes in our bodies before it is broken down. However, we know that even just slowing down and chewing our food more increases our body’s production of GLP-1.
Imagine that–just chewing mimics the most powerful diabetic drugs on the market!. This particular study is of interest because the researchers did not use a synthetic version of GLP-1–they used the actual compound itself. The difference here is that they used a compound that increased GLP-1’s absorption (it is normally absorbed very poorly when taken orally). The results were nothing short of amazing. Stay tuned to this avenue of treatment. The problem here is that there is not billions of dollars to be made from patenting a synthetic version..