Indian medics find way to ‘fix’ insulin without needles

Indian researchers create breakthrough method of delivering the  insulin pill. The days of injections seem truly numbered now
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Insulin Pills Image Courtesy: israel21c.org
Insulin Pills
Image Courtesy: israel21c.org

This is probably the sweetest bit of news for diabetics around the world, and it is coming from India.

A report in the Medical News Today says that Indian researchers have figured out a way to ‘fix’ the insulin pill in the body.

Till now, one of the biggest obstacles was in delivering the insulin pill to the gut in a way that it can be absorbed by the body. A team of researchers at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research have found a method to do this: wrap insulin in little sacs of liposomes, which are made of the same material as cell membranes.

Sanyog Jain, who led the team, said the problem till now has been that digestive enzymes in the body, that break down food, also break down insulin before it reaches the  bloodstream. That simply means, the pill is ‘killed’ by the gut before it could do its job.

With the liposome sacs covering the insulin dose, digestive enzymes in the gut cannot get access to it.

Studies on diabetic rats showed that this way of delivering insulin actually works, as blood sugar levels in rats came down appreciably with the liposome-covered pill.

This simply means the new pill may be on the shelves soon and insulin injections will be a thing of the past.

The question now is, what does ‘soon’ mean? It will probably take many rounds of tests before it is market-ready.

For now, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed!

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