The vast majority of diabetics are interested in any new developments in terms of research that gets us closer to finding a cure for this terrible disease. There have been quite a few type 1 diabetes research developments in the last couple of weeks. These are primarily new medications, many of these also effect type 2 diabetics as well.
Currently there is no shortage of therapies available to treat type 1 and or type 2 diabetes but there are many more coming soon that are very exciting. Some of these may hold the key for a cure in the not too distant future.
Stop the auto immune attack
When type 1 diabetes strikes the body’s auto immune system turns on itself and destroys insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas. This means that blood sugar in the body can’t be converted into fuel for the body’s muscles. Type 1 diabetes research has been focused on understanding the auto immune attack to find ways to prevent it happening.
Stem cells are still the best case for a cure
The most exciting piece of technology and research when it comes to type 1 diabetes research would have to be the potential seen in stem cell therapy. Stem cell technology has the ability to see many diseases including diabetes become a thing of the past. It may also help disabled people walk again. Unfortunately we are still many years away from this treatment becoming readily available to the general public.
Recently there has been success at Harvard University of turning stem cells into insulin producing beta cells. This is a very promising development in the world of type 1 diabetes research and will also impact the lives of type 2 diabetics. Replacing these beta cells is the first step towards finding a cure for diabetes. The next step is finding something that prevents the body’s auto immune system attacking these new insulin producing cells again. These cells may be protected by taking other forms of medication, so the question then is – have we really made any progress, as we are already taking medication to fight type 1 and type 2 diabetes anyway. All told, it maybe sometime before we see stem cells available for mass production and available for diabetics across the globe.
New medicines are costly and risky
Unfortunately developing new medicine for diabetes can be a costly and an ineffective exercise for many drug developers. Only 1 in 3 investigational diabetes drugs entered for clinical testing from 1995 to 2007 received regulatory approval. That compares to 1 in 8 for other investigational drugs. Overall only 13% of new diabetes medication makes it through to late trial testing. This means that it is a risky business for drug companies which may deter them from developing new medicines.
There has been considerable progress in preventing diabetes complications
Much of the type 1 diabetes research has focused on preventing or at least delaying diabetes complications. After many years of uncontrolled blood sugar levels diabetes can impact on many vital organs including the heart, kidneys, liver, teeth, eyes, legs and can even affect something like erectile dysfunction.
As diabetes affects so many different parts of the body it is often best practise to bring together various experts to attack the problem from more than one point of view. For example, cardio vascular disease is the biggest killer of diabetics worldwide. Genetic specialists will concentrate on researching diabetics with a family history of heart disease or strokes, while other researchers will concentrate on the narrowing and hardening of arteries around the heart due to diabetes. These researchers may team up with a metabolic expert who can add findings in terms of maximising glucose use in the body via specific types of exercise. Combing these areas of study can help in reducing heart disease overall.
The new drugs available
There are new breakthroughs in diabetes medication all the time. Some of the new drugs that are recently available or maybe available soon and their benefits are listed below –
Ruboxistaurin can help with vision loss in diabetics. It can also help treating damaged kidneys and possibly even heart disease. Scientists found that RBX blocks a form of enzyme that is activated in the target areas around the eyes, kidneys and heart.
There are also SGLT-2 inhibitors that block the absorption of glucose in the kidneys, this allows diabetics to excrete excess glucose through their urine. These inhibitors also have a side effect of weight loss and reduced blood pressure which is great news for type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Sotagliflozin is a brand new SGLT inhibitor, but instead of targeting SGLT 2 in the kidneys it can also target SGLT 1 inhibitors in the intestinal tract. Both of these inhibitors work to block glucose absorption which can lower blood sugar levels. There are ongoing tests to see if combining SGLT 1 and SGLT 2 is giving significant benefits to diabetics.
Invokamet XR is a combination of a sodium contransprter 2 inhibitor and an XR formulation of metformin which is a common drug prescribed for diabetics. This drug is said to significantly lower A1C more than metformin by itself. Please see my post on metformin and diabetes weight loss.
There have been other innovative treatments in the world of type 1 diabetes research, please see the following blog posts for further information in technology that is coming soon.
If you are struggling with your diet then read this
If you are a diabetic that is struggling in the kitchen then this comes with my highest recommendation. This eBook was written by a 5 star chef who is also a type 2 diabetic. After being diagnosed with the disease he fell into despair. It was only after he started developing complications including the threat of having his leg amputated did he decide to turn his life around. He went to work developing some of the most tasty, nutritious diabetes friendly recipes that turned his life and his health around very quickly. His type 2 diabetes went into full remission and he now leads a happy, healthy, diabetes free life. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are looking to lose a few kilos.
It is an exciting new world in type 1 diabetes research but we have so far failed to find a cure. I have no doubt that a cure will be found for diabetes in my lifetime. The most likely source of the cure will be stem cells research. In the meantime there is a lot of new technology and medicine that makes managing diabetes much easier. Some of the new therapies can also delay the potential of diabetes related complications which is also very good news.
Please get in touch below if you have tried or would like to try and of the new medicine or technology in the world of diabetes.