Ok..if you don’t remember what GLP-1 and DPP-4 refers to, refer back to some earlier posts.  In general, the hormone GLP-1 has some very potent actions on helping our bodies deal with the sugars that we eat and keeping us away from diabetes.

All of the new diabetes drug research is along these two lines–mimicking our own GLP-1 or inhibiting our enzyme that breaks down our own GLP-1 (this enzyme is called DPP-4).  The push of money in this direction is amazing.  For the rest of us, however, we don’t need to take fancy new (i.e. untested) drugs to get our bodies to work better.

We already know that merely chewing our food longer will provide a strong GLP-1 response by our bodies.  No more or less calories.  No need to change our diets (providing that it doesn’t need changing).  Just chew more.

This article provides us information on additional tools that can help our bodies function properly and avoid diabetes.  The amino acid glutamine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that our bodies can manufacturer it on its own, but under certain conditions of increased need our body cannot make as much as it needs.  Glutamine is found in many animal proteins, seafoods, spinach, parsley, beets and cabbage, among others.

I have generally thought of supplemental glutamine for healing the gut, for which it has a good track record.  This particular study finds that glutamine also has the ability to increase our GLP-1 levels in addition to helping with some other anti-diabetic properties. 

While I don’t typically use glutamine in prediabetics and diabetics, it will be interesting to keep supplementation with this amino acid in the toolbox.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.