A team of researchers from Yale University developed a new oral medicine for type 1 diabetesand may open up a potential way of presenting the disease as a whole.
In experiments performed on mice, the oral drug not only rapidly corrected insulin levels, but also restored metabolic functions and reversed the inflammatory effects of the disease, essentially performing a dual duty in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. which affects approximately 1.6 million Americans.
The drug has two critical advantages
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system targets and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to an accumulation of sugar in the bloodstream and an increase in blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately, there is no cure, so the main treatment options include a low-carb, low-sugar diet combined with daily insulin injections. Many patients with diabetes have to take insulin injections every day for the rest of their lives because they do not have access to more modern medical technologies such as insulin pumps.
Taking an oral pill would be much easier; However, because insulin is destroyed in the stomach before it can reach the bloodstream, making an oral pill is a difficult endeavor.
The new drug was developed by Tarek Fahmi, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and immunobiology at Yale, and according to a study published in Natural biomedical engineering, it offers two main advantages over the normal treatment of diabetes.
First of all, because it can be taken orally, it is much easier for the patient to comply with their treatment. It also addresses three major problems with diabetes at the same time, helping to control immediate blood glucose levels, restore pancreatic function, and restore normal immunity in the middle of the pancreas.
A two-pronged approach to diabetes
“What excites me about this is that this is a two-pronged approach,” Fahmi said in a press release. “This facilitates normal metabolism, as well as corrects immune defects in the long run. So you’re actually treating the disease while maintaining your insulin levels. “
This was made possible by scientists who developed a new nanoparticle drug that safely transports insulin to the pancreas. It is made from ursodeoxycholic acid, a bile acid produced naturally in the body that researchers polymerize. This allows it to bind better to the receptors of the pancreas, enhancing metabolic activities and reducing the immune cells that destroy beta cells in the first place.
When tested in mice with type 1 diabetes, it was found that the particle load improved insulin levels, while the nanoparticles reduced inflammation and restored metabolic function. It is also seen that insulin delivered through oral capsules acts approximately seven times faster than insulin delivered by standard subcutaneous injection.
Similar promising results have been reported in tests on pigs; however, further research is needed to determine whether people can benefit in the same way. Nanoparticles can also be used to transport other compounds, possibly helping to treat other diseases.
“The potential is also huge for diabetes and other illnesses,” Fami said. “I hope that this technical development will be used in developing emergency solutions to what are currently difficult challenges in autoimmunity, cancer, allergies and infections. “