19 Jan, 2024: Scientists at UiT The Arctic University of Norway have discovered an innovative method for delivering insulin to the body. This orally administered medication has undergone successful trials on baboons, demonstrating the ability to reduce blood sugar levels without inducing hypoglycemia. Human trials for the new insulin are slated for 2025, and if successful, individuals with diabetes could anticipate a more convenient life without the need for injections.
The recently developed insulin offers an alternative consumption method through a capsule or more enticingly, incorporated into a piece of chocolate. Within these substances, minuscule nano-carriers contain encapsulated insulin. These particles are extremely small, measuring 1/10,000th the width of a human hair, making them practically invisible under a standard microscope.
"We have created a coating to protect the insulin from being broken down by stomach acid and digestive enzymes on its way through the digestive system, keeping it safe until it reaches its destination, namely the liver," says liver biologist, McCourt, in the University press release.
Enzymes in the liver break down the coating only when blood sugar levels are elevated, enabling the release of insulin. Subsequently, insulin can effectively act in the liver, muscle, and fat, facilitating the removal of sugar from the bloodstream.
"This means that when blood sugar is high, there is a rapid release of insulin, and even more importantly, when blood sugar is low, no insulin is released," says Project Lead, Nicholas J. Hunt, in a press release published by UiT The Arctic University of Norway.
He clarifies that this approach is a more convenient and patient-centric way to handle diabetes as it significantly lowers the likelihood of experiencing a low blood sugar event, specifically hypoglycemia. Additionally, it enables the regulated release of insulin based on the patient's requirements, unlike injections where the entire insulin dose is administered in a single shot.
In conclusion, the advent of this groundbreaking medicine marks a transformative breakthrough in the lives of diabetes patients, heralding a future free from the constraints of needles. With the potential to redefine diabetes care, this breakthrough opens avenues for a more comfortable and adaptable lifestyle for those grappling with this chronic condition. As the medical landscape continues to evolve, the promise of a needle-free existence for diabetes patients serves as a beacon of hope and a renewed sense of possibility in the quest for enhanced healthcare solutions.