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Question:

My son is 4 and was diagnosed at 18 months of age. Last week, I heard the tail end of a news report about diabetes. The report mentioned a study that had been done on Type 1 mice who received insulin through a capsule and the capsule was able to survive the digestion process and eliminate the need for shots. I have been looking on your page for any such report/article but have not found it. Could someone look into this?

Answer:

Oral insulin is being considered as one of the ways of 'vaccinating' genetically susceptible people against Type 1 Diabetes and it is being used as part of the DPT-1 trial in some cases in which the immune disorder has already started; but who are not yet dependant on insulin. The hope is to defer or even avert insulin dependance. The rationale is complex; but appears to depend on certain fragments of the insulin molecule being absorbed and altering the propensity of the CD4 white cells to attack the islets.

Some time ago there was indeed a short vogue for giving therapeutic insulin orally in enteric coated capsules designed to reach the large bowel; but this needed very large amounts of insulin and the degree of control achieved was quite unsatisfactory even by the much more relaxed standards of twenty years ago. Meantime there are continued reports of the effects of oral insulin on blood sugars in mice and sometimes in dogs. There is an effect; but again it is erratic and requires about a hundred times as much insulin as by injection.

DO'B

Original posting 4 Apr 97
Updated 6 Apr 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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