People with Type 1 Diabetes May Produce Insulin
About half of all people who have had type 1 diabetes for at least 10 years still produce some insulin, according to a new study from Uppsala University in Sweden. Prior to this study, type 1 diabetes was thought to result in the complete loss of insulin production. Type 1 is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence and was previously called juvenile diabetes.
Researchers used a test developed only within the past few years—a complex insulin assay——to make their discovery. The study, which involved more than a hundred participants, showed a significant difference in the immune systems of people with type 1 diabetes who continue to produce some insulin.
These people have much higher levels of a protein called interleukin-35, as well as greater numbers of immune system cells that produce this protein, which helps fight inflammation in the body. The study results, published in Diabetes Care, may lead to the development of new type 1 diabetes treatment that can help regenerate insulin-producing cells in some people with the disease.