Wednesday November 20, 2019

Study: Diabetes Treatment Gets Boost From ‘Surgery in a Pill’

Novel 'surgery in a pill' to reverse diabetes

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Study: Diabetes Treatment Gets Boost From 'Surgery in a Pill'
Study: Diabetes Treatment Gets Boost From 'Surgery in a Pill'. (IANS)

Researchers have developed “surgery in a pill” that can reduce post-meal blood sugar spikes and help reverse diabetes.

When the pill was administered in rats, it delivered a substance that could temporarily coat the intestine, forming a thin barrier that alters nutrient contact and lowers blood glucose response after a meal, the researchers said.

“We envision a pill that a patient can take before a meal that transiently coats the gut to replicate the effects of surgery,” said Jeff Karp, a bioengineer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Massachusetts, US.

After a meal, blood sugar levels rise and can stay elevated over time.

However, one hour after the pill was administered to the rats, the response to glucose was lowered by 47 per cent.

“What we’ve developed here is essentially, ‘surgery in a pill’,” added Yuhan Lee, a materials scientist in the BWH.

This response was temporary, and after three hours, the effect essentially disappeared, the study showed.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Nature Materials, the team selected a substance known as sucralfate — an FDA-approved drug that is used in the treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers — to adhere to the small intestine and then dissolve within a matter of hours.

Further, the team engineered the substance into a novel material that can coat the lining of the intestine without requiring activation by gastric acid.

The engineered compound, referred to as LuCI (Luminal Coating of the Intestine), can be made into a dry powdered form that can be encapsulated as a pill.

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“We’ve used a bioengineering approach to formulate a pill that has good adhesion properties and can attach nicely to the gut in a preclinical model. And after a couple of hours, its effects dissipate,” Lee said.

The team is now testing the effect of short-and long-term use of LuCI in diabetic and obese rodent models. (IANS)

Next Story

Study Says, Early Signs of Diabetes Can be Observed in Children

The study tracked over 4,000 participants of the Children of the 90s study, a birth cohort established in Bristol in the early 1990s

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Diabetes
The research was conducted among young healthy people who were generally free of type 2 Diabetes and other chronic diseases to see how early in life the effects of diabetes susceptibility become visible. Pixabay

Researchers have found that early signs of adulthood type 2 Diabetes can be seen in children as young as 8 years old.

Type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in middle age or later, with its symptoms slowly developing over many years.

“It’s remarkable that we can see signs of adult diabetes in the blood from such a young age, this is about 50 years before it’s commonly diagnosed.

“This is not a clinical study; nearly all participants were free of diabetes and most will not go on to develop it. This is about liability to disease and how genetics can tell us something about how the disease develops,” said study researcher Joshua Bell from the University of Bristol in the UK.

The research was conducted among young healthy people who were generally free of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases to see how early in life the effects of diabetes susceptibility become visible.

The study tracked over 4,000 participants of the Children of the 90s study, a birth cohort established in Bristol in the early 1990s.

The researchers combined genetics with an approach called ‘metabolomics’, which involves measuring many small molecules in a blood sample to try and identify patterns that are unique to type 2 diabetes.

According to the findings, the research team analysed 162 pieces of genetic information and combined this with 200 measures of many small molecules in a blood sample, known as metabolics, to identify signs of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes
Researchers have found that early signs of adulthood type 2 Diabetes can be seen in children as young as 8 years old. Pixabay

Data was taken once in childhood — at 8 years old, twice in adolescence aged 16 and 18 years and once in young adulthood aged 25 years.

They found levels of HDL cholesterol were reduced at age 8, while inflammatory glycoprotein acetyls and amino acids were elevated in 16 and 18 year old teenagers.

These metabolic features could be targeted to prevent young people from going on to develop type 2 diabetes in the future, the researchers said.

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The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Barcelona. (IANS)