Epidemiological data show calorie carbohydrate (CHO) intake has increased approx. 20% over the last 30 years, roughly in line with increases in the calories obtained from fat and protein. Epidemiological data also show calorie intake from ingested CHO has drifted away from complex CHO towards more refined, industry processed simple CHO. In particular, the ingestion of sweeteners such as HFCS has risen dramatically over the last 4 decades. These data suggests the forms in which CHOs are ingested, transported and sensed by the gut may be of critical importance in understanding the role dietary CHO plays in the development of diseases such as metabolic syndrome.<br /><br />The gut mucosa is the first responder to ingested nutrients. During the digestive process complex CHO are broken down to simple sugars, which are then transported across the small intestine. <br /><br />My research has been focussed on establishing the molecular mechanisms of intestinal sugar transport. Published data show sugar is transported across the small intestine via SGLT1, GLUT2 and GLUT5. In addition these transporters are subject to regulation by diet, drugs, hormones, and disease, such as diabetes. Recent data has also shown that following meal ingestion the gut senses luminal CHO levels, resulting in the release of hunger/satiety peptides which control energy (food) intake and expenditure.
<p><br />Using tissue culture and in vivo models of the small intestine, I work on regulation of intestinal sugar transport by dietary CHOs; and the metabolic consequences of elevations in post-prandial flux of sugars. In addition, I study the molecular mechanisms by which dietary CHO, especially industry processed sugars and artificial sweeteners, are sensed by the gut, controlling the release of GI satiety peptides. These preclinical studies will pave the way towards human studies on dietary CHO in the gut and the development of metabolic syndrome.</p>
Regulation of intestinal sugar transport and intestinal sugar sensing.
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):