Washington: A daily pill that could cure diabetes is one step closer to reality, thanks to the efforts by the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who discovered how to reverse the condition.
The researchers have discovered a compound made naturally in the body that can reverse diabetes and restore normal blood sugar metabolism in diabetic mice.
They believe this could lead to people taking the compound like a daily vitamin as a way to treat or even prevent type 2 diabetes.
This naturally occurring compound, called nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN, plays a vital role in how cells use energy.
Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, associate professor of developmental biology, and his colleagues were able to normalise blood sugar levels in diabetic mice by injecting them with the chemical.
“After giving NMN, glucose tolerance goes completely back to normal in female diabetic mice,” said Imai.
“In males, we see a milder effect compared to females, but we still see an effect. These are really remarkable results. NMN improves diabetic symptoms, at least in mice,” he added.
Imai said the discovery holds promise for people because the mechanisms that NMN influences are largely the same in mice and humans.
He and his team are now working on a way of administering NMN to mice in drinking water.
“Once we can get a grade of NMN that humans can take, we would really like to launch a pilot human study,” said Imai.
The research is detailed online Oct. 4 in Cell Metabolism.