Could there soon be a Type 1 diabetes pill?


Millions of people around the world are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, forced to inject insulin every day for the rest of their lives. For this is the only way to compensate for this hormone not being produced in their body. And they have to follow their treatment to the letter, as just one moment of forgetfulness can cause serious complications.

While technology has created ways to facilitate these injections, such as insulin pumps, this repetitive treatment still has a negative impact on quality of life, not to mention a substantial psychological impact. Hence the serious search for oral methods to take insulin, though until recently nobody was able to overcome the great obstacles of gastric acidity and the intestinal barrier.

One team of Harvard researchers, though, is currently working on a gel that is resistant to this acidity. In it, an ionic solution containing geranic acid and choline accompanies the insulin. This lends it properties that allow it to resist gastric acidity and the intestinal barrier, letting it release the insulin once in the intestine. The project shows great promise, having already achieved conclusive results in rats.