Diabetes cure research may have just hit at a major breakthrough. According to a new study from the Columbia University Medical Center, the potential breakthrough already exists within your body.
KFOR.com reports that the study “has found that cells in the small intestine can produce insulin and regulate blood sugar effectively when researchers turn off the FOX01 gene in those cells.”
From the report:
Since he was 10-years-old, Drew Reiter has been testing his blood sugar and giving himself four to five insulin shots a day.
Reiter has Type 1 diabetes, meaning his body does not make insulin to regulate his blood sugar.
“I feel like I’m pretty on top of things but it’s still hard to regulate,” he said.
The type of treatment that scientists are talking about would effectively solve these problems for people like Reiter, of which there are many.
In fact, around 30 million people in the U.S. have some form of the disease, which can be fatal. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes “remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States… with 69,071 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death [in 2010], and a total of 234,051 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.”
“The exciting aspect of this work is that we have a single target gene against which we can hopefully make drugs that control this whole process,” said Dr. Domenico Accili, the Columbia study’s senior author.
When a drug is developed to turn off the gene, researchers will probably test it in conjunction with insulin injections first.
“It could be, that when push comes to shove, we cannot completely cure the disease but we can provide a drug that would, for example, decrease the number of times patients need to take insulin,” Accili said.
For anyone who has diabetes that requires insulin shots, that would probably feel like a cure in itself; however, Accili did confirm that his endgame is a full-on diabetes cure.
The tests Columbia University Medical Center ran were on mice and then human cells in a laboratory. The hope is to ready a treatment for people with both Type 1 diabetes and Type 2.
In a previous report from The Inquisitr, it was found that diabetes rates among kids 19 or younger were skyrocketing. This potential diabetes cure could reverse the tide and provide some much-needed relief on the healthcare system.
What do you think, readers? Will it be successful?
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