New tech could reverse diseases, including IBS and diabetes, using intestinal cells

A newly developed technology platform has the potential to treat diseases like diabetes, IBS, and obesity by using enteroendocrine (EE) cells found in human intestinal cells, according to a recent study. Although enteroendocrine cells make up only about 1% of intestinal cells, they produce around fifteen different hormones that play a role in regulating digestion and metabolic function.

Creating Organoids

The new organoid platform, developed at Boston Children’s Hospital, is meant to pinpoint drugs that can increase the amount of EEs and encourage them to generate more needed hormones. “There’s been interest in exploiting human intestinal stem cells and EE cells to treat disease,” says David Breault, MD, Ph.D. in a statement. Breault is associate chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Boston Children’s. “But the field is still in a nascent stage. This will open new avenues of discovery.”

Using a newly developed protocol, Daniel Zeve, MD, and David Breault, MD, have been able to derive human enteroendocrine cells from human intestinal stem cells. They are shown here growing in a 3-D intestinal organoid. (Credit: Daniel Zeve, Boston Children’s Hospital)

Together with Daniel Zeve, MD, Ph.D., the study’s chief investigator, Breault derived tissue from intestinal biopsies of patients at the children’s hospital and from adult patients at Massachusetts General Hospital. Researchers then isolated the area between intestinal villi known as the “valleys” where intestinal cells can be found. Then organoids were created from the intestinal cells to replicate the biology of the duodenum and rectum. The organoids were then used as a platform to test the effectiveness of various drugs.

“We tried a variety of small molecules with the goal of making more EE cells and/or more hormones,” says Zeve. Zeve is an attending physician in endocrinology and a member of Breault’s lab. Three chemicals were found that, when used in combination, increased the production of EE cells. The chemicals also increased the amount of six different hormones: glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), cholecystokinin, somatostatin, serotonin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and peptide YY.

New Treatment Options

This new strategy is more efficient because it avoids the need for genetic techniques. Scientists have filed a U.S. patent application and hope to use the new platform for further drug testing. Breault and Zeve are keen to find FDA-approved compounds that mimic the same result as their organoids. Of particular interest is identifying an oral drug that would allow those with type 1 diabetes to make insulin, or help people with obesity lose weight by encouraging their bodies to produce the hormone GLP-1. 

Despite the fact that drugs are already available that mimic the effects of GLP-1 to encourage weight loss, many of them come with unpleasant side effects such as headaches, vomiting, and nausea. Breault and Zeve also hope to investigate medications to encourage the production of cholecystokinin, GIP, and peptide YY for diabetes and weight management. “The ultimate goal would be to identify a medication that induces the secretion of multiple hormones at once,” says Zeve. “This most likely mimics what happens in the body after a meal and may prevent side effects that could occur with the overproduction of just one hormone.”     

Find this study in the journal Nature Communications.

75 thoughts on “New tech could reverse diseases, including IBS and diabetes, using intestinal cells”

  1. Billions in profit made from “managing” Diabetes…no company is going to give that up….this will never hit the market…ever

    • I fear you are correct, but thankfully, optimal diet and regular exercise remains the best cure for obesity and all the accompanying maladies. AND IT’S FREE!

      • Optimal diet is free? You wish.
        The sad fact is that processed foods are far less expensive than fresh vegetables, fish, whole grains, yogurt, and tree nuts.
        And if you’re trying to avoid chemicals like pesticides and hormones, organic food will cost you even more.
        I’m not arguing against such a diet, and I try to follow one as much as possible.
        But the most healthful diets are also expensive (which is part of the reason poor people tend to have diets that make them fat, diabetic, etc.)

        • If you have a yard are that you can grow a garden, convert it or look around your area for a community garden space you can rent and get to work. 🙂

          • It is almost impossible to grow enough food and the variety needed for a single person with a garden. You sound like someone who has never gardened.

        • Bollocks. If you go to a real grocery store, fresh vegetables are far cheaper per ounce than anything else in the store, particularly garbage food, and there will be more variety than people could imagine a century ago. Go to damn grocery store and find me that $10 back of celery or carrots. I dare you.

          Elementary schools spend half their time trying to indoctrinate kids about the importance of consuming vegetables. Mommy used to cut up fresh vegetables and feed them to us while she was making dinner. In other words, kids will eat fresh vegetables even if you don’t force them to. What about “adults”?

          It doesn’t take a genius to look at price tags and figure out where your money is going and what your priorities should be. Nor is it rocket science to cut up a variety of fresh vegetables, heat them in a pot, and make soup or a casserole, and put the leftovers in the freezer. Canned foods typically have more salt in them, but they don’t require refrigeration, but at worst that means you don’t need to add additional salt to them. If by the age of 18 you can’t read the ingredients on the back of a food container, you aren’t an adult.

          The people who spend their time consuming soda, potato chips, any food that has sucrose as the first, second, or third ingredient, processed meats, alcohol, etc and then whine about how “healthy food is expensive” are losers and idiots. Not necessarily because they really believe their own BS, but because they would rather rationalize their self-destructive behavior than change it.

        • That is so not true. I’ve been a vegetarian most my life and I can tell you meat and process foods are by far more expensive than eating a plain healthy diet of plants, nuts and legumes.

      • Obesity has nothing to do with Type 1 DIabetes! I have had T1D since 1985. My current weight is 127lbs and I’m 5ft 6in. No amount of diet and regular exercise is going to “kick start” my pancreas. A little diabetes education for people who think T1D is an obesity issue would go a long way. There will NOT be a cure released in the US as it’s a huge pharmaceutical loss which is absolutely HORRIFIC.

        • Daryl, instead of posting the same nonsense repeatedly like a mental patient…why don’t you list the dozen reasons why they are so mistaken. Also please provide links to support your reasons. Tell you what? Why don’t you just list 6? Or even 3?

      • Exercise combined with healthy nutrition. Part of the problem is that it takes a person of iron will to maintain a weight loss once achieved. Once a person becomes fat he has fat cells that have divided and multiplied. Those cells send out a hormonal message to the brain telling it to “eat, eat.” Only after a prolonged period of denying those hormonal inspired messages will the urge to eat finally begin to dissipate. However, while it is somewhat analogous to an alcoholic it is even more sinister in that an alcoholic can remain “clean” by never touching another drop. A human HAS to eat every day and the iron will part comes into play in limiting the amount one ingests.

      • Exercise is a good part of a health program, but diet is very important to get the most positive results. Intermittent fasting is surprisingly necessary too. The body is a complex engine that needs managed. Unfortunately, Medical practices are a business and need to be profitable to exist. I have heard that in England Doctors are given bonuses based on how healthy they keep the patients to reduce those tempted to treat patients for the sake of profitable procedures instead of best practices. We need medical research and innovation. Proactive medicine and medical research are very necessary.

    • You really think Big Pharma, who has enslaved us to their non-working meds, and continue to do so, would NOW present a cure? Thus reducing their profit substantially? They keep us barely alive with their side-effect laden poisons, milking our livelihoods, with their constant lure of a “cure” dangling before our eyes. The home remedy crowd taking their bread crumbs, further conning us into their useless snake oil, until we all die poorer and in more pain. Personally I believe one of the statin drugs I took for years gave me diabetes. I have no family history of it, I’m far from obese, and now I have stage 4 kidney disease. Thanks so much Big Pharma, may you suffer the same. Once you have diabetes, you have an entire plethora of satanic maladies from which to die. If I weren’t a born again Christian I would have killed myself years ago. But I’m an obedient slave. I spend a fortune on meds and have enjoyed the vast majority of the side-effects. Thanks be to God in Jesus Christ our Lord, I have a hope for eternity at least.

  2. This is a welcome development, and may lead to better health, especially in those experiencing obesity unresponsive to the usual treatments, and possibly avoidance of weight loss surgery, to attain some of the same effects. It means actual correction of metabolic abnormalities.
    Considering FDA approval however is unlikely, since bringing even lifesaving drugs to market requires billions of dollars upfront in extensive clinical trials and millions of dollars paid to the FDA.

    As a financial consideration entirely, it would probably be better to just not even apply for FDA approval, but apply for approval in other countries which are less expensive and recover investments through treatment in those countries.

    This could result in medical tourism, which is already occurring with other treatments.

    • They put MSG in food to make you fat for population reduction purposes and then under the guise of researching a cure they research ways to make sure you never lose the weight. We have known how to cure most diseases with the push of a button since Rife’s 1935 cure for all disease that worked. All the cancer research money donated since then used to find ways to cause it. Fenbendazole for example cures small cell carcinoma but you doctor will kill you with chemo and radiation instead.

    • Obesity is caused by gluttony. The average person cannot tell you the definition of a calorie or the difference between mono, poly and saturated foods. They will eat it all though and wonder why they can’t lose weight. If those people were locked in a cell and fed a proper diet kept at 1500 calories a day; after 30 days their weight loss would be significant. Those searching for pills and exercise free diets will always say they’ve tried everything but their body just keeps putting on or maintains their current weight.
      Rarely, thyroid issues can cause a slow metabolism. That is checked with a simple blood test in which 99% of obese patients will learn their thyroid is fine.
      No excuse for over eating or maintaining the American diet of high fat and sugars.

      • I love it when people who have never been seriously overweight fancy themselves experts on the subject. It’s akin to men thinking they’re experts on women’s problems, or whites thinking they are experts on the problems that people of color encounter.

      • You are mostly correct. I struggled to loose weight and used the same excuses. It was not until recently that I got truthful with myself and admitted that while I was exercising, I was eating twice as much calories than what I burned, and this was after I already ate my 1700 calorie limit for the day. See, after exercising, I just was not adding those foods I would snack after the workout on to my intake list for the day thinking that the workout canceled them out. I was lying to myself. When I finally started taking records of EVERYTHING, I was not eating 1700 calories a day. It was closer to 2800, the exercise only burned about 300-500. Net gain everyday.

        That are a few other conditions that do chemical changes to the body that make loosing fat more difficult, but for most people, its the problem I had. Now that I have fixed it, and just built better habits, the weight has been coming off slowly (about 2-3 pounds per month) but steadily. Lost so far about thirty pounds.

      • So not true. Thyroid conditions are to blame in my family. I’m one of the lucky ones, whereas my daughter eats way healthier than me and for her daughter, she has kept her on a strict healthy diet of Whole Foods since she started eating but you can see how thick she is, just like her fathers side and her mother who inherited my mom’s genes.

      • Hey….lets be kind. I happen to be close to someone who struggles and tries really hard to lose weight. Finally seeing Dr. It can be very complicated with hormones, heredity, etc.

      • Based on your opening statements, obesity is caused by IGNORANCE, rather than gluttony. If the food lobbies weren’t restricting information available to the general public, advertising came with consequences like it does for tobacco, and folks like you actually argued the facts rather than opening, obesity and metabolic disease wouldn’t be the issue it is. Get your facts straight!

        • Whatever – your post is proof your simple mind can’t comprehend the basics of a proper diet. The FDA has a breakdown of calories, sugars, fats etc on packaging already but you run your mouth that it’s the governments fault as you get wider and heavier by the day. Sorry but the problem is your ignorance and willingness to blame everyone but yourself for what you shovel into your pie hole 10 times a day. I’m know this upset you but it’ll be OK as I’m sure you’ll find a pie and quart of ice cream to calm your nerves.

  3. I agree with Phil. I’ve been hearing about type 1 diabetes cures for almost the entire 40 years I’ve had type 1 diabetes. The only things being cured of type 1 diabetes are mice. They have a wonderfully long list of cures they can select from that never work in humans.

    • I’m a type 1 diabetic diagnosed at 10 years old. I’m now 45. Back then the doctors would tell me ten years. We are so close to a cure. 10 years. BS. Now diabetes’s is all about management and using CGM and insulin pumps. If you ever get a transplant, you have to take anti-rejection drugs so your auto immune does not attack the foreign object. They stopped looking for cures. Most people who have diabetes are type 2 which can be controlled with diet and exercise.

  4. Amazing discoveries of the miraculous ‘Gut Bacteria’ continue forward.
    Doctors prefer to treat these problems with drugs since Pharma pays their salary ….
    It’s the science of Profit in the long run.

    • Doctors prefer to treat with drugs not because they’re paid to do so, but because it’s easier than getting people to make the necessary, radical changes to their diets and lifestyles. A doctor could talk to an obese woman until he’s blue in the face about how she should follow a plant-based diet and exercise regularly, but not get the same results as if he just wrote her a prescription.
      To address your other point, the notion that doctors receive any money from Pharma is a popular fallacy; in fact, it would be illegal (ironically, the same Congress who passed laws against doctors receiving pay or gifts from Pharma have no qualms about accepting money and gifts from Pharma themselves…)

  5. I was very excited to hear about the new glp-1″agonists like Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, that cause significant weight loss through metabolic changes and appetite suppression, until I saw thyroid cancer warning. I would rather be fat and alive than leave as a skinny corpse.

  6. Developed from stem cells? I wonder how many people who claim they won’t get the COVID jab because it was derived from stem cell research would happily refuse to be cured of obesity and diabetes? This question hits close to home for me because I have refused the shot due to the connection between aborted baby tissue and it’s manufacture. Will I obey my conscience even though it means giving up a wonder drug? I’m not sure I know the answer.

  7. Type 2, IBS, created and given to people no different than Cv19. Cv19 was created for the Vaxx, not the other way around. The bottom line is not about ones good health, it’s about the all mighty dollar, making a buck from the suffering of others. A cured patient is a lost customer!
    When those in the highest positions with unlimited power, wealth and resources state, on record, that they want to reduce the population, you better pay close attention because they’re talking about YOU!

  8. What we are dealing with is something called Farengi Medicine.
    The Farengi part is a fictional alien based on a society strictly controlled by the rules of business and money. It became part of a Star Trek series with a Black Captain in control of a Space Station. Said species was also known for it’s anti-female approach to society.
    The Farengi part of medicine is only using things that give huge profits to the doctors using it. It is controlled by government rules in a bureau called the Food and Drug Administration.
    If there is a crooked way to succeed it is outlined in the Rules of Acquisition of the Farengi Species.
    In the series, a lot of fun was poked at this Farengi that owned a bar, was smuggling anything in that there was a desire for, and the negotiation of back room deals, mostly illegal.
    The opposite number was a law enforcement official of an alien race of beings that could change their appearance to anything they wanted.
    The problem is the medicine of today is almost certainly dependent on business rules similar to the Farengi of fiction.
    Thus the Jabs that almost certainly have side effects way beyond normal and the effort to hide these things through government intervention.
    That the jabs do not work as advertised and the resulting cover ups almost certainly parallel the Farengi rules of acquisition by our doctor class show many similar things to the fictional series.

  9. Insulin, syringes, and test strips are a huge monopolistic cash cow that government protects and allows even large co-pays.
    Government does not allow generics to for with low co-pays for these high price drugs for type-1 diabetics with this genetic not behavioral disease.
    Drug addicts have better government provided assistance than diabetics.
    There is no way a cure for type 1 diabetes will be allowed to be available.
    All the government special interests protecting Lilly insulin and the syringe manufacturers will never allow their victims to escape.

  10. It sounds very promising, but the economics of keeping chronic diseases never cured will not allow it to come to fruition. Big pharam. AMA and the insurance companies need a steady source of income. They will never allow anything that treats the root cause of the problem, only the symptoms.

  11. I did a “scientific” study by interviewing 12 people who have been on Statin drugs for near 20 years and all of them were pre-diabetic or on medication as a diabetic. 100% correlation, zero margin of error. This disease is expanding rapidly in our society and most doctors and “scientists” blame the food we eat. What if they are wrong? I’m sure Daryl will have a comment on this.

  12. There is some truth to the star track comparison..although its not the story in its entirety….
    Foolish folks believe so, because it fits a coveted political narrative..
    (it feels good)..
    and is stupidly righteous…for one limited reason or another..

    .truth is…. Money is involved in most everything…DUH!..

    Its the (oil) and fuel..that makes things happen..without it…

    were back with life expectancy in the 50’s..

    .Woke??please…how about take responsibility to use both the benefits of the western medical system and the natural routes…

    oh.. I get it…too much work…back to the big macs,..and blaming everybody for society not being perfect..

    .please..DO your own do diligence,when it comes to health ..stay away from politics and internet charlatans that are only in it for the Money…by taking the anti data/trial side.

  13. I’ve always had stomach issues. Also severe dehydration headaches. MRI’s, bran scans, Cat scans showed nothing. Strenuous exercise intensified the pain and agony.

    My father was a Vietnam Vet exposed to Agent Orange, which causes him unexplained medical issues and prostate cancer. My older brother born before he left has an iron stomach and is perfect physical specimen.

    My older sister died in the womb when my dad and mom conceived after he came home. His sperm was damaged by the dangerous herbicides he was sprayed with.

    My right leg is a 1/2″ short and I was severely pigeon toed so I had to wear a bar on my feet as I slept. Flat feet, heel pain and no endurance made it difficult to play sports or do physical fitness in gym class. I suffered a lot.

    My IBS has gotten worse no matter what diet or supplements I try. There’s way too many chemicals in our environment, but I think most of my problems are from Agent Orange.

  14. Or you could just stop eating all of the carb garbage such as sugar, oatmeal, bread, etc and eat mostly just meat and veggies to cure your diabetes.


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