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April 27, 2007

Insulin, Research: Other Research

Question from Ames, Iowa, USA:

Does it make any sense to try using oral insulin instead of injections for type 1? I read many times that oral does not work in type 1, but would like to know your opinion. As you have already mentioned many times, there are types of diabetes somewhere between types 1 and 2, so I just think it using oral insulin would be worth of the effort to try.

Answer:

Oral insulin is digested by the gut, so it is only useful in research trials to attempt to “immunize,” much like allergy shots/desensitization treatment. Much research over many years has tried to figure out ways to deliver insulin by non-injection routes and aside from pulmonary delivery systems just arriving, but without long-term pulmonary safety studies, so far, there has not been much success.

SB