Insulin pill? Study in mice shows it is as effective as injection – 04/09/2022

Insulin pill? Study in mice shows it is as effective as injection – 04/09/2022
Insulin pill? Study in mice shows it is as effective as injection – 04/09/2022

Insulin injections are a constant in the lives of many people who have diabetes. But a study done on mice showed that insulin pills are absorbed into the body in the same way as the injectable version. The research was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports in June.

The idea of ​​an insulin pill isn’t exactly new. In 2018, researchers at Harvard University had already created a formula. In 2021, at the annual meeting of the ADA (American Diabetes Association), scientists from a British company presented the results of phase 2 trials in humans of an encapsulated insulin.

The difficulty in finally finding an alternative that works is that insulin is a particularly difficult drug to take orally: it is a protein, and much of it is easily broken down in the stomach and intestines well before it reaches the liver, where it is needed. .

In a statement, Yigong Guo, first author of the study published in Nature, said that for injected insulin, 100 IU per injection is usually required. “Other ingested pills in development that go into the stomach might need 500 IU of insulin, which is mostly wasted, and that’s a big problem that we’re trying to solve.”

In the mouse study, the scientists then took a different approach: they designed a tablet that dissolves between the gum and cheek. This area is full of tiny capillaries, which means the drug can completely bypass the digestive system and immediately enter the bloodstream. From there, it can be carried to the liver without accumulating or being broken down in the intestines.

“Even after two hours of the procedure, we found no insulin in the stomachs of the mice we tested,” Guo said. “It was all in the liver and this is the ideal target for insulin — that’s really what we wanted to see.”

According to the researchers, similar to the rapid-acting insulin injection, the oral administration tablet is absorbed after half an hour and can last for about two to four hours.

The study is yet to be tested in humans.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Insulin pill Study mice shows effective injection

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