Question:What are incretins and amylin, and when are they used?
Answer:Incretins are proteins that are normally secreted from the intestine and what incretins do, is they cause insulin secretion when food is eaten. Incretins have as their main function, to reduce the glucose spike that occurs when food is eaten. And it does this my causing insulin secretion, but there are other mechanisms, such as reducing another hormone that raises blood sugar called glucagon and also decreasing the time it takes for food to empty from the stomach. So incretins do all of this, and we now have incretins that we can use for the treatment of diabetes.
Amylin is different. Amylin comes from the pancreas; in fact, amylin comes from the same cells that secrete insulin. Now amylin is similar to the incretins with one big exception; amylin, by itself, does not cause insulin secretion, but it does all of the other things that the incretins do to prevent the big spike that occurs after food is eaten.