Incretin hormones are defined as intestinal hormones released in response to nutrient ingestion, which potentiate the glucose-induced insulin response. In humans, the incretin effect is mainly caused by two peptide hormones, glucose-dependent insulin releasing polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GIP is secreted by K cells from the upper small intestine while GLP-1 is mainly produced in the enteroendocrine L cells located in the distal intestine. Their effect is mediated through their binding with specific receptors, though part of their biological action may also involve neural modulation. GIP and GLP-1 are both rapidly degraded into inactive metabolites by the enzyme dipeptidyl-peptidase-IV (DPP-IV). In addition to its effects on insulin secretion, GLP-1 exerts other significant actions, including stimulation of insulin biosynthesis, inhibition of glucagon secretion, inhibition of gastric emptying and acid secretion, reduction of food intake, and trophic effects on the pancreas. As the insulinotropic action of GLP-1 is preserved in type 2 diabetic patients, this peptide was likely to be developed as a therapeutic agent for this disease.