Diabetes breakthrough: Probiotic pill that 'rewires' the body

Scientists claim to have achieved a breakthrough in diabetes, a development that could bring hope and cheers to the millions of sufferers around the world.

Updated: Feb 03, 2015, 19:09 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

London: Scientists claim to have achieved a breakthrough in diabetes, a development that could bring hope and cheers to the millions of sufferers around the world.

According to the scientists, a “probiotic pill” can cure both types of diabetes by simply “rewiring” the body.

In the new study, researchers discovered that a “probiotic pill” which contains live bacteria found in the human gut, could radically reduce blood glucose levels from the pancreas to the upper intestine.

It is believed that this “rewiring” of the body could revolutionise treatment for diabetes - both Types 1 and 2 - and potentially would one day offer the possibility of a cure.

Lead researcher Professor John March said that if it works well in people, all they would need to do is to take the pill to control their diabetes.

“Probiotics are generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, and were already available, people already took them, and they haven't had any adverse side effects,” Professor March said.

The scientists gave modified probiotic in the form of a pill to a group of diabetic rats for a period of 90 days.

They then monitored the rats' blood glucose levels, comparing their findings with diabetic rats that did not receive it.

The researchers found that the rats that received the modified probiotic had blood glucose levels up to 30% lower than those that did not receive the probiotic treatment.

The researchers also found that the probiotic appeared to convert the rats’ upper intestinal cells to act much like pancreatic cells which in healthy people secrete insulin and regulate blood glucose levels.

The scientists are now preparing to take this exciting new discovery to the next level by testing higher doses of the engineered probiotic in diabetic rats.

If successful, the probiotic could then be made into a pill for human use.

The study is published in the journal Diabetes.

(With Agency inputs)