Probiotic pill shows promise against diabetes
Scientists at Cornell University are reporting positive results from a probiotic pill that they say can control diabetes and they think it's possible that the treatment could one day lead to a cure for the condition.
The researchers engineered the pill from a human gut bacteria called Lactobacillus, which helps secrete a hormone that releases insulin. People living with diabetes are typically unable to produce adequate amounts of insulin.
The probiotic pill was given daily to rats with diabetes over the course of 90 days. Throughout the study, researchers monitored blood glucose levels of the diabetic rats involved in the study, as well as those of a control group of diabetic rats.
The researchers found that the blood glucose levels of the rats involved in the study were about 30 percent lower than the rats in the control group. Researchers observed that the pill seemed to work by essentially giving cells in the rats' intestines the ability to secrete insulin and help regulate blood glucose levels.
The findings of the study, published in the journal Diabetics, suggest that the probiotic pill may help diabetics manage their condition if the pill has similar effects in humans.
The scientists are now looking at whether higher doses of the pill could actually completely reverse diabetes in rats.
Currently, 29 million Americans have diabetes.