Oral insulin to control sugar would soon be a reality

Oral Insulin could be a reality soon (Credit: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock)

Main Point:

Scientists have successfully administered and utilized insulin through mouth in rats and this would be a huge success against diabetes, if the same experiment will successfully be done on humans.

Published in:

Biomacromolecules

Study Further:

Something about Insulin therapy:

Scientists are working on and improving insulin therapy for diabetes and one of the most optimized way of insulin therapy could be administration through mouth, i.e. oral administration.

The concept of oral insulin is present since 1930s but it is a complicated thing, as insulin, being a protein, quickly destroys after coming in contact with stomach, and it has a huge size making it difficult to be absorbed through bloodstream.

Present Study:

In the present study, scientists worked on the above mentioned problems by packing insulin in tiny packets of lipids (fats) protecting insulin from stomach enzymes and by attaching it to folic acid to activate a transport mechanism, so that its absorption could be improved.

Scientists found that this strategy worked as effectively after oral administration in rats as injected insulin.

“In vivo pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies further revealed almost double hypoglycemia and approximately 20% relative bioavailability in comparison with subcutaneously administered standard insulin solution,” Scientists noted.

Although, the dose entering the bloodstream was small as compared to injected insulin but this newly developed oral formulation helped to control blood-sugar level for more than 18 hours as opposed to 6-8 hours after injection.

“Overall the proposed strategy is expected to contribute significantly in the field of designing ligand-anchored, polyelectrolyte-based stable systems in drug delivery,” Scientists wrote.

Sources:

Insulin pill may soon be a reality – The Conversation (http://goo.gl/YJrBQM)

Ashish Kumar Agrawal et al. (2013). Improved Stability and Antidiabetic Potential of Insulin Containing Folic Acid Functionalized Polymer Stabilized Multilayered Liposomes Following Oral Administration Biomacromolecules DOI: 10.1021/bm401580k

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.