Diabetes affects nearly 1 million Australians, and the medications associated with it are often extreme. Now Danish researchers have discovered a way to make injected insulin mimic the body’s natural reactions.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when people can no longer produce insulin throughout their body. Insulin helps us regulate our blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, diabetes cannot be cured, and if left untreated it can be incredibly harmful.
Current diabetes medications, specifically injectable insulin, can help sufferers live regular everyday lives. However, injectable insulin is typically released throughout the body at an unstable level. This means that diabetes sufferers can struggle to keep their blood sugar levels maintained.
Fortunately, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered a way to make injected insulin act like a natural chemical within the body. Insulin naturally creates uniforms structures within our body, meaning it can be slowly released at a steady rate.
Therefore, researchers have devised a chemical “trick” which allows injected insulin to structure itself in this same way. Insulin can then be injected under the skin, stored in fatty tissue deposits and slowly released throughout our bloodstream. This idea could help create a whole new range of diabetes medications.
“We have discovered an entirely new method of modifying a molecule (insulin) that is important for 35 million diabetes patients. We are incredibly happy with that”, explained lead professor Knud Jensen.
“We have demonstrated that we can influence the manner in which insulin assembles, and we have demonstrated that the insulin can then be released”, Professor Jensen added.
“It is absolutely clear that this could be a good method for designing medications that release over extended periods of time, from depots beneath the skin”.