Metformin has been shown to increase glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels after an oral glucose load in obese non-diabetic subjects. In order to verify if this effect of the drug was also present in obese Type 2 diabetic patients who have never been treated with hypoglycemic drugs, 22 Type 2 diabetic and 12 matched non-diabetic obese patients were studied. GLP-1 was measured before and after a 100 g glucose load at baseline, after a single oral dose of 850 mg of metformin, and after 4 weeks of treatment with metformin 850 mg three times daily. Post-load GLP-1 levels were significantly lower in diabetic patients. A single dose of metformin did not modify GLP-1 levels. After 4 weeks of treatment, fasting GLP-1 increased in diabetic patients (3.8 vs 4.9 pmol/l; p<0.05), while the incremental area under the curve of GLP-1 significantly increased in both diabetic [93.6 (45.6-163.2) vs 151.2 (36.0-300.5) pmol x min/l; p<0.05] and non-diabetic [187.2 (149.4-571.8) vs 324.0 (238.2-744.0) pmol x min/l; p<0.05] subjects. In conclusion, GLP-1 levels after an oral glucose load in obese type 2 diabetic patients were increased by 4 weeks of metformin treatment in a similar fashion as in obese subjects with normal glucose tolerance.