Many people who have diabetes have no other choice than to give themselves daily insulin injections, but it looks like that could be changing. According to news reports, the problem in the past with oral medications for diabetes was that the insulin was essentially degraded before it could travel through the bloodstream due to the acidity of the stomach.
Now, researchers at Niagara University in the U.S. are working to develop a new way to encapsulate insulin so that it reaches the bloodstream and the protein doesn’t break down before reaching the intestine. Basically, insulin would be encapsulated with Cholestome, patented particles comprised of lipid molecules. Lipid esters are used to make fluid filled sacks containing the drug molecules, then assembled into the Cholestome spheres. Researchers say the spheres aren’t vulnerable to stomach acids, and therefore can pass through to the intestine before going into the bloodstream, where the insulin will be released once the Cholestome breaks apart.
Currently, the team is focusing on how to optimize the formulations even more before conducting additional tests on animals, then humans.
Those with diabetes would no doubt appreciate being able to take their insulin orally as opposed to giving themselves one or more injections every day. Hopefully this new technology will come to fruition in the near future!
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