Despite its high prevalence and severe complications, the aetiology of the primary defects leading to Type 2 diabetes mellitus remain unknown. In addition to polygenic predisposition, environmental factors including dietary behaviour are increasingly recognized as being of crucial importance for the development of this disease. This strongly supports the concept that nutrient excess leading to increased availability of substrates adversely influences whole-body metabolic regulation and plays a major role in the development of type 2 diabetes. We have shown previously that a short-term increase in free fatty acid availability impairs glucose metabolism in liver and skeletal muscle. Despite the widespread interest in protein-rich diets, the effects of plasma amino acid elevation on human glucose metabolism have not yet been studied in detail. This editorial summarizes recent advances in the identification of mechanisms responsible for amino acid-dependent modulation of glucose metabolism in liver and skeletal muscle in vivo.