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Open access

Merlin C. Thomas, Brendon L Neuen, Stephen M Twigg, Mark E. Cooper, and Sunil V Badve

Sodium‐glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have recently emerged as an effective means to protect kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD). In this review, we explore the role of SGLT2 inhibition in these individuals. SGLT2 inhibitors specifically act to inhibit sodium and glucose reabsorption in the early proximal tubule of the renal nephron. Although originally developed as glucose-lowering agents through their ability to induce glycosuria, it became apparent in cardiovascular outcome trials that the trajectory of kidney function decline was significantly slowed and the incidence of serious falls in kidney function was reduced in participants receiving an SGLT2 inhibitor. These observations have recently led to specific outcome trials in participants with CKD, including DAPA-CKD, CREDENCE and EMPA-KIDNEY, and real-world studies, like CVD-REAL-3, that have confirmed the observation of kidney benefits in this setting. In response, recent KDIGO Guidelines have recommended the use of SGLT2 inhibitors as first line therapy in patients with CKD, alongside statins, renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors and multifactorial risk factor management as indicated. However, SGLT2 inhibitors remain significantly underutilized in the setting of CKD. Indeed, an inertia paradox exists, with patients with more severe disease less likely to receive an SGLT2 inhibitor. Concerns regarding safety appear unfounded, as acute kidney injury, hyperkalaemia, major acute cardiovascular events and cardiac death in patients with CKD appear to be lower following SGLT2 inhibition. The first-in-class indication of dapagliflozin for CKD may begin a new approach to managing kidney disease in type 2 diabetes.

Open access

C L Bodinham, L Smith, E L Thomas, J D Bell, J R Swann, A Costabile, D Russell-Jones, A M Umpleby, and M D Robertson

Resistant starch (RS) has been shown to beneficially affect insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals and those with metabolic syndrome, but its effects on human type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are unknown. This study aimed to determine the effects of increased RS consumption on insulin sensitivity and glucose control and changes in postprandial metabolites and body fat in T2DM. Seventeen individuals with well-controlled T2DM (HbA1c 46.6±2 mmol/mol) consumed, in a random order, either 40 g of type 2 RS (HAM-RS2) or a placebo, daily for 12 weeks with a 12-week washout period in between. At the end of each intervention period, participants attended for three metabolic investigations: a two-step euglycemic–hyperinsulinemic clamp combined with an infusion of [6,6-2H2] glucose, a meal tolerance test (MTT) with arterio-venous sampling across the forearm, and whole-body imaging. HAM-RS2 resulted in significantly lower postprandial glucose concentrations (P=0.045) and a trend for greater glucose uptake across the forearm muscle (P=0.077); however, there was no effect of HAM-RS2 on hepatic or peripheral insulin sensitivity, or on HbA1c. Fasting non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations were significantly lower (P=0.004) and NEFA suppression was greater during the clamp with HAM-RS2 (P=0.001). Fasting triglyceride (TG) concentrations and soleus intramuscular TG concentrations were significantly higher following the consumption of HAM-RS2 (P=0.039 and P=0.027 respectively). Although fasting GLP1 concentrations were significantly lower following HAM-RS2 consumption (P=0.049), postprandial GLP1 excursions during the MTT were significantly greater (P=0.009). HAM-RS2 did not improve tissue insulin sensitivity in well-controlled T2DM, but demonstrated beneficial effects on meal handling, possibly due to higher postprandial GLP1.