Pill could replace needle for diabetes
health
20.08.2019

Pill could replace needle for diabetes

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A pill taken once a day may significantly improve the health and waistlines of people with type 2 diabetes, researchers in England have found.
Scientists from the Leicester Diabetes Centre at the University of Leicester have reported that a semaglutide pill has been shown to lower blood glucose levels by almost two per cent and help patients to lose weight.
The pill will enable patients to better control their condition and reduce the need for insulin injections. Unlike many of the current treatments, semaglutide doesn’t carry the risk of causing low blood sugar or weight gain.
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Semaglutide works by stimulating insulin production while suppressing both glucagon (the hormone that raises glucose levels) and appetite.
Of the 632 participants in the 26-week study, 90 per cent of those receiving the drug were able to lower their blood sugar levels to a target level of less than seven per cent, reducing the need for insulin. Weight loss also occurred in 71 per cent of patients taking the pill.
The results of the phase II trial were published in the medical journal JAMA.
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Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, develops as the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and/or the pancreas becomes less effective at producing insulin.
According to Diabetes Australia, 280 Aussies develop diabetes every day. Currently about 1.7 million Australian have diabetes (this includes all types, both diagnosed and undiagnosed).
Study leader Professor Melanie Davies said the results will help type 2 diabetes sufferers better manage their condition.
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“Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition with potentially devastating complications which is posing a major challenge to health services across the world because of the increasing numbers of people developing it,” she said.
“We know many people struggle injecting themselves. These results demonstrating semaglutide’s ability to have a significant impact on lowering HbA1c and support weight loss when taken orally therefore are hugely promising.”
According to research by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, type 2 diabetes is linked to rising obesity levels, age, dietary changes and sedentary lifestyles.
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Nearly two out of three Australians are considered overweight or obese, a figure that dietitian and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Sugars and Sweeteners Dr Alan Barclay says can be reduced by replacing free sugars with alternative sweeteners, such as Stevia.
The World Health Organisation defines free sugars as those added to food by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as those that are naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
“Many of us consume too much free sugar,” Dr Barclay said. “However, alternative sweeteners are often lumped into the same category and there’s a perception both must be avoided.”
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“In fact, there is a large body of scientific evidence that actually shows that the substitution of free sugars for alternative sweeteners helps people to lose weight and also keep the weight off in the long term.”
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