Oral anti diabetic substance discovered

December 24, 2007

Research in the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science and Science Education of the University of Haifa has discovered a substance that may become an oral treatment for diabetes and its complications. The substance, which is derived from yeast, is called Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). "The research is now at the stage where the substance has been successfully tested on diabetic rats and was found to reduce sugar and lipids in the blood of the treated animals. The next stage of the research is to evaluate GTF efficacy in humans," said Dr. Nitsa Mirsky, who is conducting the research.

Diabetes is recognized as a major global health problem. Diabetes affects 5%-10% of the population in developed countries, while in developing countries the disease has been recently declared an "epidemic". Diabetics suffer from lack of insulin or a deficiency in the body's ability to respond to insulin. Diabetes is a chronic illness with no cure and can lead to kidney failure, heart problems, strokes or blindness, as well as other complications. Approximately 50% of diabetics are treated with insulin, which has to be injected, while the rest are treated with oral medications which tend to be more difficult to regulate and often have side effects.

According to Dr. Mirsky, there are a number of problems with insulin treatment; the main one being that insulin is not always an effective treatment, due to gradual development of resistance to the hormone. An additional problem is that insulin doses are not necessarily synchronized with the patient's physical activities or eating intervals. A large dose of insulin injected before a diabetic patient eats, for example, can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that can result in a diabetic coma and ultimately death. In addition, the fact that insulin must be injected is in and of itself difficult for many patients.

This current research was conducted on two levels: on diabetic rats and on the molecular-cell level. The results indicate that GTF acts similarly to insulin in the rats, lowering the level of glucose, and of LDL-cholesterol, (the "bad" cholesterol), and raising the level of HDL-cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol). GTF inhibited oxidation processes that can cause atherosclerosis and result in further complications of the disease like strokes and heart attacks. Moreover, when GTF is given at early stage of the disease, it could prevent or delay renal complications. GTF also helped to prevent cataracts and retinal damage. It was also found that GTF improves the effectiveness of injected insulin. Further research is needed in order to find a combined regimen of insulin and GTF as a potential treatment for diabetes.
-end-


University of Haifa

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.