Colesevelam has no acute effect on postprandial GLP-1 levels but abolishes gallbladder refilling

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

OBJECTIVE: Colesevelam, a bile acid sequestrant approved for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia, improves glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes. We hypothesised that single-dose colesevelam increases postprandial GLP-1 secretion, thus, reducing postprandial glucose excursions in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further, we explored the effects of single-dose colesevelam on ultrasonography-assessed postprandial gallbladder motility, paracetamol absorption (proxy for gastric emptying), and circulating factors known to affect gallbladder motility.

METHODS: In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 12 individuals with type 2 diabetes (mean ± SD: age 61 ± 8.8 years; body mass index 29.8 ± 3.0 kg/m2) were subjected to 4 mixed meal tests on separate days; 2 with orally administered colesevelam (3.75 g) and 2 with placebo, with intravenous infusion of the GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin(9-39)NH2 or saline.

RESULTS: Single-dose colesevelam had no effect on postprandial concentrations of glucose (P = .786), C-peptide (P = .440), or GLP-1 (P = .729), and exendin(9-39)NH2 administration revealed no GLP-1-mediated effects of colesevelam. Colesevelam did not affect gallbladder emptying but abolished gallbladder refilling (P = .001), increased postprandial cholecystokinin (CCK) secretion (P = .010), and decreased postprandial serum concentrations of fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) (P = .035) and bile acids (P = .043).

CONCLUSION: Single-dose colesevelam had no effect on postprandial GLP-1 responses or glucose tolerance but disrupted postprandial gallbladder refilling by increasing CCK secretion and reducing circulating concentrations of FGF19 and bile acids. These findings leave the antidiabetic actions of colesevelam unresolved but provide mechanistic insights into its effect on gallbladder motility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)314-326
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Society of Endocrinology. All rights reserved. For commercial re-use, please contact for reprints and translation rights for reprints. All other permissions can be obtained through our RightsLink service via the Permissions link on the article page on our site—for further information please contact

ID: 389314310