Insulin in pills: will appear or not?

In mid-October reported that U.S. scientists animal testing of insulin in the pills. Attempts to replace the injection in tablet form of the drug is taken for a long time. It strongly would simplify life for patients with diabetes. And today we can say that to succeed need to do just few steps.

The problem

Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces. Its main task is to reduce the level of glucose in the blood. Thanks to the action of insulin, cells absorb glucose in order to use it, and part of the glucose is converted to fat.

If the insulin the body produces is small, we are talking about diabetes type I diabetes. Patients with this disease need lifelong injections of the hormone.

According to the world health organization, the number of people with diabetesin the world increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Only 2015 diabetes died about 1.6 million people.

Where to take insulin

Patients with diabetes I type constantly need insulin for injection. Previously used for this insulin of cows (it is not identical to human, but very similar). Then learned using bacteria to synthesize the human hormone. However, the full problem is not removed.

The fact that the injections themselves are afraid of many patients. Especially difficult to do regular injections to children. And skipping insulin can lead ultimately to increase the level of glucose in the blood. In turn, incorrectly calculated the dose or poor diet causes a sharp decrease in the level of sugar that can cause coma.

Insulin pills could in many cases avoid problems. But the main difficulty is that 100% effective drug has not yet been established. And here’s why.

Overcoming barriers

Insulin normally, the body comes from the pancreas into the blood. But if we take a pill, it before you get in the blood must pass through the stomach and intestines.

  • Hydrochloric acid in the stomach denatures the protein (insulin is a protein molecule), destroys it
  • The enzymes in the intestines break down insulin into amino acids
  • The villi of the intestine are not absorbed such large molecules like insulin

American scientists have managed to “pack” the insulin molecule so that it overcomes all these barriers. First, they used a special capsule that is resistant to the acid of the stomach. And secondly, insulin in pill is associated with a particular ionic liquid. She “protects” molecule, and helps her get into the villi, and in General the ionic liquid increases the penetration of drugs into the body.

The prospects are

Preformed insulin was tested on rats, and scientists came to the conclusion that the drug was safe for use. Moreover, it is even more accurately mimics the natural flow of insulin into the bloodstream (if we do the injection, the rate of absorption of insulin varies greatly depending on place of injection). An additional advantage of the pill is the relative cheapness of production of the drug.

Russian scientists have developed their version of tablets of insulin. It has the same effect as described above, but it is not an ionic liquid, and a special hydrogel. Its main task is to preserve and protect the insulin molecule before it gets to the intestines, where it will be absorbed.

It is obvious that the creation of insulin in tablets is a matter of a few years. All the capabilities of medical science today aims to as long as possible to maintain a high quality of life for patients. And about the world’s first reality show about life with diabetes you can read in our article.