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Journal Articles Proceedings of the Nutrition Society Year : 2021

Intestinal gluconeogenesis and protein diet: future directions.

Fabienne Rajas
Gilles Mithieux


High-protein meals and foods are promoted for their beneficial effects on satiety, weight loss and glucose homeostasis. However, the mechanisms involved and the long-term benefits of such diets are still debated. We here review how the characterisation of intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGN) sheds new light on the mechanisms by which protein diets exert their beneficial effects on health. The small intestine is the third organ (in addition to the liver and kidney) contributing to endogenous glucose production via gluconeogenesis. The particularity of glucose produced by the intestine is that it is detected in the portal vein and initiates a nervous signal to the hypothalamic nuclei regulating energy homeostasis. In this context, we demonstrated that protein diets initiate their satiety effects indirectly via IGN and portal glucose sensing. This induction results in the activation of brain areas involved in the regulation of food intake. The μ-opioid-antagonistic properties of protein digests, exerted in the portal vein, are a key link between IGN induction and protein-enriched diet in the control of satiety. From our results, IGN can be proposed as a mandatory link between nutrient sensing and the regulation of whole-body homeostasis. The use of specific mouse models targeting IGN should allow us to identify several metabolic functions that could be controlled by protein diets. This will lead to the characterisation of the mechanisms by which protein diets improve whole-body homeostasis. These data could be the basis of novel nutritional strategies targeting the serious metabolic consequences of both obesity and diabetes.

Dates and versions

inserm-03038274 , version 1 (03-12-2020)



Amandine Gautier-Stein, Fabienne Rajas, Gilles Mithieux. Intestinal gluconeogenesis and protein diet: future directions.. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2021, 80 (2), pp.118-125. ⟨10.1017/S0029665120007922⟩. ⟨inserm-03038274⟩
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