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March 20, 2007

Oral Insulin Crystals Could Delay Or Prevent Diabetes In Children

Topics: Medicine

ChEMainFig03.jpgA new study, led by Bristol University, has discovered that the number of children under five-years-old with Type 1 diabetes has increased five-fold over 20 years, and the incidence of childhood Type 1 diabetes has been shown to be increasing all over Europe. Although the largest increase in the incidence of diabetes was seen in children under five, Type 1 diabetes in under children under 15 almost doubled during the study. Now there are plans to try to delay the start of the disease by identifying people at high risk and give them daily treatment with oral insulin crystals.

Although previous studies with oral insulin have had negative results, apparently the Bristol research team plans to identify people at high risk and give them daily treatment with the insulin crystals, likely enclosed within a capsule that will make it into the intestines. The idea is that when the immune system encounters the insulin in the intestine it will learn not to perceive it as a threat, and in effect, be "re-educated" to no longer attack the patient's own insulin producing cells.

Insulin is a protein which can be digested like other proteins in food. The stomach is an acidic environment in which proteins are quickly denatured, and the presence of food acts to influence absorption and make dosing unpredictable.

Related: ClinicalTrials.gov - Oral Insulin for Prevention of Diabetes in Relatives at Risk for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Posted by Richard at March 20, 2007 7:53 AM

I question how we are to know which kids to give the crystals to? At what level of genetic risk is the cut-off?

Posted by: sugar-solution at March 20, 2007 12:19 PM



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