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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 171742, 9 pages
Review Article

Medicinal Plants Qua Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Secretagogue via Intestinal Nutrient Sensors

College of Korean Medicine, Institute of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 25 August 2015; Accepted 24 November 2015

Academic Editor: Juntra Karbwang

Copyright © 2015 Ki-Suk Kim and Hyeung-Jin Jang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) participates in glucose homeostasis and feeding behavior. Because GLP-1 is rapidly inactivated by the enzymatic cleavage of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) long-acting GLP-1 analogues, for example, exenatide and DPP4 inhibitors, for example, liraglutide, have been developed as therapeutics for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, the inefficient clinical performance and the incidence of side effects reported on the existing therapeutics for T2DM have led to the development of a novel therapeutic strategy to stimulate endogenous GLP-1 secretion from enteroendocrine L cells. Since the GLP-1 secretion of enteroendocrine L cells depends on the luminal nutrient constituents, the intestinal nutrient sensors involved in GLP-1 secretion have been investigated. In particular, nutrient sensors for tastants, cannabinoids, and bile acids are able to recognize the nonnutritional chemical compounds, which are abundant in medicinal plants. These GLP-1 secretagogues derived from medicinal plants are easy to find in our surroundings, and their effectiveness has been demonstrated through traditional remedies. The finding of GLP-1 secretagogues is directly linked to understanding of the role of intestinal nutrient sensors and their recognizable nutrients. Concurrently, this study demonstrates the possibility of developing novel therapeutics for metabolic disorders such as T2DM and obesity using nutrients that are readily accessible in our surroundings.