Needle-Free Future: Oral Insulin Could Help Millions of Diabetics Ditch the Needle

By: | January 30th, 2024

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The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 537 million adults globally are living with diabetes as of 2021. This translates to roughly 1 in 10 adults! Of these warriors, 75 million face an extra daily battle – injecting insulin to keep their blood sugar in check.

Now, they may soon have a novel alternative to syringes or insulin pumps as scientists have discovered a smart insulin delivery method.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway researchers have developed a groundbreaking form of ‘smart insulin’ that can be taken orally. This innovation, available in capsule or chocolate form, presents a hopeful alternative to the daily injections faced by millions of individuals with diabetes.

The pills contain nano-carriers, each encapsulating insulin. These particles are tiny at 1/10,000th the width of a human hair and are engineered to prevent insulin breakdown in the stomach.

Progress and Success: The Journey of Smart Insulin Innovation

This smart insulin’s effectiveness has been tested on a range of subjects, such as mice, rats, and even baboons in the National Baboon Colony in Australia. The outcomes revealed a significant decrease in blood sugar levels without causing hypoglycemia, weight gain, or fat accumulation in the liver—common complications associated with current insulin treatments.

The eagerly anticipated next step for this medical breakthrough is the human trials, scheduled for 2025.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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