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September 26, 2001


Question from Cortland, Ohio, USA:

I have read a little about the use of C-peptide to decrease the complications of diabetes. Do you have any information on this topic?


A role for C-peptide in the treatment of the complications of type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes in humans was first proposed by a group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm by a Wahren Johanssen (See C-peptide prevents and improves chronic Type I diabetic polyneuropathy in the BB/Wor rat). You can find several more up to date reports if you search PubMed under ‘C-peptide in diabetes treatment’. These are mostly in laboratory animals and relate to the neuropathies.

Although the encouraging results seemed valid, they have not been striking enough for anyone to pursue the extraordinarily costly approach to the clinical trials needed for FDA approval in the U.S. Most probably, any C-peptide deficiency will ultimately be solved by advances in islet cell transplants.