Researchers Working On Daily Diabetes Pill
Although it is still years down the road from being marketed, researchers are hard at work to develop a daily diabetes pill. The hope is that the pill will not only be used for treating diabetes, but possibly for preventing its occurrence, as well.
The project is currently being conducted by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is being funded by a group of health institutes. One member of the group is the National Institute on Aging.
Researchers are primarily focusing their attention on a compound known as nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). The interest in this compound lies in how cells use it for energy.
Scientists started out with a group of diabetic mice whose condition was triggered by being fed a diet of high-fat food. When the mice were injected with NMN, their blood sugar levels began to drop. As an added bonus, triglyceride and cholesterol levels also dropped.
The researchers found that all of the test subjects also had lower levels of NAD. NAD is a molecule with the ability to extract the energy from nutrients and use it as a viable source of energy. This discovery is crucial since, like mice, humans derive NAD from NMN through a chain of events.
The next step of the research is in finding a way to introduce NMN to the laboratory mice by way of their drinking water. The hope is that one day this will develop into a nutriceutical pill which can be administered to type 2 diabetics with the ease of a vitamin.
Lead researcher on the study, Shin-ichiro Imai, told the Daily Express of their goal.
“Once we can get a grade of NMN that humans can take, we would really like to launch a pilot human study,” said Imai.
Results of the study can be found in the publication Cell.
Source: Daily Express