It has long been known that peptide hormones from the gastrointestinal tract have significant impact on the regulation of nutrient metabolism. Among these hormones, incretins have been found to increase insulin secretion, and thus incretin-based therapies have emerged as new modalities for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In contrast to other antidiabetic treatments, these agents have a positive outcome profile on body weight. Worldwide there are 500 million obese people, and 3 million are dying every year from obesity-related diseases. Recently, incretin-based therapy was proposed for the treatment of obesity. Currently two different incretin therapies are widely used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: 1) the GLP-1 receptor agonists which cause significant and sustained weight loss in overweight patients, and 2) dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors being weight neutral. These findings have led to a greater interest in the physiology of intestinal peptides with potential weight-reducing properties. This review discusses the effects of the incretin-based therapies in obesity, and provides an overview of intestinal peptides with promising effects as potential new treatments for obesity.
Review of Diabetic Studies, 2011, Vol 8, Issue 3, p. 339-47