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Latest Diabetes Research: New drug may cure diabetes at source

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : October 7, 2014 5:25 PM IST

diabetesA modified form of the drug niclosamide - now used to eliminate intestinal parasites - may hold the key to battling Type 2 diabetes at its source, says a study. The drug used in the study is a modified form of a medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has already approved for human use.

In Type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the body's ability to use that insulin is degraded. A major cause of insulin resistance is the accumulation of excess fat in the cells of the liver, as well as in muscle tissue. 'Our goal in this study was to find a safe and practical way of diminishing fat content in the liver. We used mice to perform proof-of-principle experiments in our laboratory,' said lead researcher Victor Shengkan Jin, an associate professor of pharmacology at the Rutgers University in the US.

'We succeeded in removing fat, and that in turn improved the animals' ability to use insulin correctly and reduce blood sugar,' Jin added. The modified medication - whose full name is niclosamide ethanolamine salt (NEN) - burned the excess fat in liver cells through a process known as mitochondrial uncoupling.

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'We went to the literature and found an approved drug that does in parasitic worms what we wanted to do in liver cells,' Jin noted. At present, the only way now known to cure Type 2 diabetes involves major gastric bypass surgery. 'The surgery can only be performed on highly obese people, and carries significant risks that include death, so it is not a realistic solution for most patients,' Jin pointed out.

The study appeared in the journal Nature Medicine.

Simple tips to control your diabetes

Eat smart: Diet is the most important aspect of a diabetic s life. Ultimately, it s your diet that will determine your sugar levels. According to Dr Pradeep Gadge, consultant diabetologist at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai for remembering a diabetic diet, one should always keep in mind four things: when to eat, what to eat, how much to eat and what to avoid. He suggests eating five small meals throughout the day, and recommends complete elimination of sugar, jaggery and refined flour from the diet.

Exercise: Diabetics should pay extra attention to their daily physical activity. If you re overweight, you must lose weight by exercising. When you exercise, your body extracts energy from the stored glucose in your body. Once the reserves are exhausted, your body will derive its energy from the bloodstream. This causes a drop in blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can improve your insulin sensitivity. Additionally, it also helps you burn fat, regulate lipid and lower blood pressure by improving circulation. Read more about Control your diabetes better with these 5 simple steps

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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