Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 337

A New Pill Could Mimic The Effects Of The Bariatric Surgery

Know how to reverse type 2 diabetes.

For the reversal of type 2 diabetes in an obese patient or in a patient with an uncontrolled high blood sugar (glucose) levels, the healthcare professionals will recommend a gastric bypass surgery. This is a popular and effective procedure for the reversal of type 2 diabetes and for weight loss. A study shows a successful reversal of type 2 diabetes in 84 percent of the patients who underwent a gastric bypass surgery. The health benefits with a gastric bypass surgery are.

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The Luminal Coating of the Intestine (LuCI) pill can help an obese patient to reverse type 2 diabetes and help weight loss.

But, the following risks associated with the bariatric surgery.

  • Excessive internal bleeding (or haemorrhaging, hemorrhaging).
  • Formation of blood clots.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Anesthesia side effects.
  • Infection, hernia, ulcers or even death in some cases.

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Now, the scientists are successful in developing a noninvasive procedure to reverse the type 2 diabetes. The new noninvasive procedure is as effective as the gastric bypass surgery, without causing any side effects such as diarrhea or constipation.

The scientists have engineered a pill, called "Luminal Coating of the Intestine" (LuCI), to mimic the effects of the gastric bypass surgery. The LuCI pill was developed with the sucralfate compound, a FDA approved drug for the treatment of the gastric ulcers. This compound will cause no effects on the pancreas, brain, liver or on any other organs. The scientists used a variety of techniques to transform the paste into the powder. The substance can be packaged into a pill.

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Once an obese patient with type 2 diabetes takes the LuCI pill before the food, the material temporarily sticks and form as a coating in the small intestine (or small bowel, a part of the gastrointestinal tract) for a few hours and melt without causing any harm or side effects.

The scientists have done an innovative modification to the LuCI compound so that it is less dependent on the pH value of the stomach. This coating can prevent the food contact with the gut (or proximal bowel lining) causing about 47 percent of the reduction in the glucose entering into the bloodstream. The pill can also prevent a spike in the blood sugar levels following a meal. The pill can cause a weight loss and a significant improvement in the HbA1c levels of a patient with type 2 diabetes.

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Researchers have tested the compound in the rodents. They have given the LuCI pill to the rat models before a meal. They observed a temporary coating in the small intestine. The temporary coating is partially preventing the absorption of the nutrients in the small intestine (or small bowel), triggering a lower glucose production. One hour after the meal, scientists have observed about 47 percent reduction in the glucose levels in the bloodstream of the rodents.

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Researchers are investigating the short-term and long-term effects of the LuCI pill in the obese rodent models with type 2 diabetes. They are also planning to find out whether the "Surgery in a Pill" therapy can be used to deliver a drug directly to the gut.

The reversal of type 2 diabetes with the LuCI pill is a safe procedure and causes fewer complications. The LuCI pill can provide an option to the bariatric surgery. This treatment can help the huge population. Now, the researchers are planning to conduct a study in the humans.

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Some experts say that the LuCI pill may prevent the ingestion of important nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 and may trigger low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). But the researchers say that the pill can coat the intestine only for a few hours and a patient can take the calcium or multivitamin supplements without taking the LuCI pill.

Researchers say that the LuCI pill can cause a dramatic improvement in the quality of life and the reversal of type 2 diabetes. These benefits are independent of weight loss.

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One day, a person can undergo a treatment for both obesity and the reversal of type 2 diabetes with a pill instead of the bariatric surgery (an invasive surgery). The scientists say that the work is a "surgery in a pill". The new pill can be in the market in the next five to ten years.

The co-senior authors of the study were Ali Tavakkoli, associate professor of surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Professor Jeff Karp, a bioengineer and principal investigator, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. The study was published June 11, 2018, in the journal Nature Materials. Title of the article was "Therapeutic luminal coating of the intestine."
DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0106-5

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Published on July 16, 2018


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