Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, commonly used to treat high blood glucose, have also shown efficacy against low blood sugar levels in a recent study. Results from this study have been published in the journal Diabetologia.

Scientists observed that mice treated with DPP-4 inhibitors had significant protection against hypoglycemia vs. mice not treated with DPP-4 inhibitors; their production of glucagon also increased. DPP-4 inhibitors work by stimulating the body’s insulin production, lowering blood sugar, and increasing gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) levels which are secreted in the intestines during meals. When given high doses of GIP, the mice were protected against hypoglycemia and had increased glucagon levels.

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Researchers concluded that DPP-4 inhibitors offer protection against hypoglycemia by increasing GIP and glucagon levels. GIP was found to normalize blood glucose levels rather than lowering levels, as was previously understood. This study supports the possible application of DPP-4 inhibitors for patients who experience frequent hypoglycemia due to diabetes that is difficult to control.

For more information visit Diabetologia.org.