Insulin chewing gum can help tackle diabetes epidemic
Chewing gums can prove very helpful in delivering insulin in the blood stream of the diabetics, say researchers.health and fitness Updated: Jan 15, 2009 18:57 IST
Chewing gums can prove very helpful in delivering insulin in the blood stream of the diabetics, say researchers.
Robert Doyle, a chemist at Syracuse University in New York State, is sure that an insulin chewing gum can offer a significant solution to the breaking down of orally-taken insulin by the digestive system.
Past studies have shown that the digestive system breaks down an insulin pill taken orally, and that any surviving enzyme is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut.
Doyle points out that the body has specific mechanisms for protecting and absorbing valuable molecules that would usually be damaged by conditions in the gut.
Giving an example of vitamin B12, he says that it is protected by a salivary protein called haptocorrin that binds to it in the mouth and protects it in the stomach.
The researcher says that once haptocorrin reaches the intestines, another chemical pathway takes over to help vitamin B12 pass into the bloodstream.
His idea is to bind insulin molecules to vitamin B12 so that it can hitch a ride on this protected supply chain.
Doyle believes that the insulin can ride all the way into the bloodstream, where it is released to do its work.
He claims that tests on rats conducted by his team have shown some promising results, reports New Scientist magazine.
Although the animal study involved a treatment in liquid form, Doyle and his colleagues are of the opinion that chewing gum would be a better delivery method in humans.
The researchers say that chewing would ensure a plentiful supply of saliva, providing the protein needed for the insulin to make its way into the bloodstream.
First Published: Jan 15, 2009 18:55 IST