Researchers devise method to create insulin pill
People with diabetes may one day be able to substitute an insulin pill for daily insulin shots, according to new research.
In the study from India, a team of researchers aimed to resolve the challenges encountered in previous research of oral medications for diabetes—including the difficulty for the gut to absorb the insulin to help it reach the bloodstream. Scientists from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research addressed this issue by creating insulin pills packaged in the fatty material found in cell membranes, then coating them in protective molecules and attaching them to folic acid. They tested the drug in diabetic rats and compared the results with rats receiving insulin shots.
The findings, published in the journal Biomacromolecules, revealed that the insulin pills were as effective as the shots were in reducing the rats’ blood sugar levels. The the effects of the pill, however, lasted longer. The scientists said further research in humans is needed to develop an oral treatment for diabetes.