New Insulin Pill Shows Positive Results in Rodent Models

A new insulin pill has shown positive results in a Harvard study with rodents, researchers say. While the concept of the insulin pill is not new, there are currently no products available on the commercial market. The biggest challenge with an insulin pill is that the digestive system tends to break down and destroy insulin itself.

The Harvard researchers tried a new approach with their version of the insulin pill by dispersing the insulin in liquid made from choline and geranic acid. When administered to rats, their blood sugar levels fell by about half, the effects lasting four hours. The researchers theorize the suspension of the insulin in the choline/geranic acid liquid prevents the digestive system from destroying the medicine, allowing it to be absorbed into the blood stream.

The researchers concluded, “Evidence from cell and animal studies supports a promising prospect of development of the formulation into a clinical product." You can read the full findings online via Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Some Animal Research News on National Donut Day

Today, June 3, is National Donut Day.  Before you sprint to your local coffee shop for a glazed chocolate with sprinkles, you may want to read a recent article from Time and thank animal research for the warning.

It has become abundantly clear by now that a bad diet of unhealthy food harms the body, particularly with weight gain.  Junk food is high in sugar and salt but low in healthy nutrients.  Studies have shown that it can disrupt hormones, change a person’s sense of taste, and even raise the risk of mental illness.  But did you know it could damage your kidneys?  According to a study in Experimental Physiology, rats fed a diet of chocolate bars, marshmallows, biscuits, and cheese exhibited harm to their kidneys similar to that of type-2 diabetes.  Researchers analyzed the rats’ blood sugar levels and function of blood sugar transporters in their kidneys.  Upon review they were able to see what happened to the kidneys of rats that ate junk food and fatty foods, compared to the kidneys of those with diabetes.

To read Time’s report on this research, please click here.

FBR Releases Final Segment in Three Part Series on Animal Research and Diabetes

Yesterday, the team at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) released the third and final part of its three segment series covering the involvement of animal models in diabetes research.  Part three of the series covers how biomedical research in veterinary health, the development of implantable devices for people living with diabetes, and the identification of a new type of diabetes thanks to the assistance of animal models.

Thanks to many years of animal research, species of all kinds are benefitting from the research.  Insulin, for example, was discovered with the assistance of canine models and because of gene therapy, Type 1 diabetes in dogs has been cured.  But it does not stop there.  Scientists have been working on new ways for the 29 million Americans with diabetes to manage their care, including the development of implantable devices to help monitor blood sugar, replace insulin injections, and in some cases even place insulin-producing cells under the skin.  Such groundbreaking breakthroughs would not be possible without the contribution of dogs, cats, and pigs.

To read more about these and other exciting developments in diabetes research, please click here.

If you have not done so already, please take a moment to read NABR’s coverage of part one and part two of FBR’s series.

Type 2 Diabetes: How Are Animal Research and Testing Advancing Treatments?

As we reported recently, the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) launched a three-part series taking a closer look at the valuable contributions animal models have made in the hunt to treat and cure diabetes. Yesterday, FBR released the second part of the series, “How Animal Testing and Research is Advancing Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes.”

A metabolic disorder in which the body’s cells don’t sufficiently use insulin from the pancreas to turn glucose into energy, type 2 diabetes results in high blood sugar levels.  Genetic and lifestyle factors, like obesity and lack of exercise, are the primary causes.  Obesity is rising globally and it was estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that in 2014 22 million Americans had the disease, compared to 5.5 million in 1980.

Science, once again, has turned to animal models to stem the tide of diseases like type 2 diabetes.  A special line of mice has been developed that have the obesity and glucose intolerance that leads to type 2 diabetes.  Another rodent model, a rat, is even an identical model of human type 2 diabetes.  Animal research and testing in diabetes research is not new but it continues to be a priority for science as 1 in 3 Americans has prediabetes.

To read how rodents and even Gila monsters are helping researchers find a cure for type 2 diabetes, please click here to read, “How Animal Testing and Research is Advancing Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes.”

The first segment of the series, “Animal Research Creates Treatments and Advances for Type 1 Diabetes,” can be found here.

Please be sure to share this interesting coverage of diabetes research with your friends, family, colleagues, and on social media.

FBR Starts Three-Part Series on Animal Contributions to Diabetes Research

The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) has kicked-off a three-part series examining the valuable contributions animal models have made in the hunt to treat and cure diabetes.  Part 1, “Animal Research Creates Treatments and Advances for Type 1 Diabetes,” was introduced yesterday.

It is estimated that diabetes impacts about 387 million people globally and health experts expect that number to rise to 592 million by 2035.  It is a group of metabolic diseases in which blood sugars are high over a prolonged period of time and is the result of either the pancreas not manufacturing enough insulin or the body’s cells not responding properly to the produced insulin.

While doctors know that a healthy diet, exercise, avoiding tobacco products, and maintaining proper body weight are important factors in prevention, animal models like cows, pigs, and mice have played an important role in treating and improving the lives of diabetics.

Please click here to read the first part of FBR’s trilogy on the role of animals in Type 1 diabetes research.  FBR’s next piece on Type 2 diabetes is expected next week.