Published information derived from studies of prostaglandins on carbohydrate homeostasis and insulin secretion has been considered somewhat controversial by many investigators. An analysis of the literature published since 1876 suggests that this controversy has its roots in imprecise terminology and overgeneralization of data rather than irreconcilable scientific experiments. The two major sources of confusion have been failure to distinguish glucose-induced acute insulin responses from insulin secretion in general and failure to appreciate that the behavior of indomethacin is not consistent with the effects of other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (cyclooxygenase inhibitors) on glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion. When acute insulin responses to glucose specifically are examined and data from indomethacin studies are excluded, the available information consistently indicates that prostaglandin E has adverse effects on glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion.

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