The entero-insular axis comprises direct substrate stimulation of the islet cells by the absorbed nutrients and signal transmission by endocrine factors and nerves. The extent of neural influences has not yet been evaluated. GIP is the main incretin candidate. GIP release is dependent on nutrient absorption. Therefore, GIP abnormalities occur in a large number of gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. These secondary changes are rarely of clinical significance. GIP hypersecretion may, however, contribute to the increased lipogenesis in obesity and the hypoglycemia in the late dumping syndrome. In type II diabetes hyper- and hyposecretion of GIP has been found but no correlation between GIP and insulin response. GIP abnormalities are not identical with disturbances of the entero-insular axis. These can only be evaluated by estimating the incretin effect (comparing the insulin response to oral glucose with the insulin response to an isoglycaemic iv glucose infusion). A decreased incretin effect has been observed in patients with jejuno-ileal bypass and in type II diabetes. In neither condition was a correlation found between incretin effect and GIP response. It is concluded that disturbances of the entero-insular axis are rarely explained by GIP abnormalities. Therefore, other humoral gut factors must exist. Also the neural part of the entero-insular axis requires exploration in health and disease.