Probiotic Pill Could Cure Diabetes
There are currently nearly thirty million people in the United States that are living with diabetes. Currently it is the seventh-leading cause of death for people living in the United States. However, a new probiotic pill designed by researchers from Cornell University in New York could be the cure for this disease.
Diabetes is the result of the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to properly regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, patients can end up experiencing a condition known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can result in a number of complications including neuropathy, stroke and heart disease.
In this study, the researchers looked at a strain of bacteria that is considered friendly, known as Lactobacillus. The Lactobacillus was genetically engineered to be able to produced a hormone known as GLP-1. This hormone is responsible for cause the release of insulin after a person has eaten food.
Lactobacillus is a probiotic that is often used to prevent diarrhea, IBS and Crohn’s disease. It is also used for the treatment of some skin disorders.
The researchers then inserted the modified bacteria into diabetic rates. Then they looked at the effects of the bacteria on blood glucose levels. The researchers then determined whether the bacteria had any effect by comparing the diabetic rats who received the bacteria to diabetic rats that did not.
After 90 days at the conclusion of the study, the researchers determined that the rats that had received modified probiotic had blood glucose levels that were 30 percent less than rats that did not get the probiotic. The researchers believe that the differences can be accounted for by the fact that the rates were able to convert their upper intestinal epithelial cells to cells that behave in a similar fashion to pancreatic beta cells.
The researchers say that there are plans to test additional doses of the probiotic at higher levels. They have also teamed up with a company called BioPancreate to allow the probiotic to be converted into a pill that would be suitable for use by humans.