It’s usually controlled with diet, lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, weight loss, exercise, medicine and insulin treatment.
However, a new study may have discovered another method.
The University of California has found a re-purposed asthma drug may improve blood sugar levels for diabetics.
In the study, patients with type 2 diabetes who took an anti-asthma drug for 12 weeks showed a significant reduction in blood glucose.
The asthma drug – called amlexanox – with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, was developed in Japan in the 1980s.
Alan Saltiel, study author and director of the UC San Diego Institute for Diabetes and Metabolic Health, said: “When we looked at the drug-treated group we saw a bimodal distribution, that is, there were some responders and some non-responders.
“We didn’t understand why, so we did a molecular analysis from biopsies of fat cells we took from patients at the beginning and end of the study.
“In the responder group, the level of inflammation in fat was higher than in the non-responder group at the beginning of the study, indicating that there is something about inflammation that predisposes a person to respond.
“And, what was really amazing was that there were more than 1,100 gene changes that occurred exclusively in the responders.”
Amlexanox works to inhibit two enzymes, IKK? and TBK1.
When these enzymes were induced in obese mice, they caused a drop in energy expenditure or reduction in calories burned.
It caused the mice to lose weight and increase their sensitivity to insulin, which improved their diabetes and fatty liver disease.
In a human clinical trial, the gene changes that occurred in the mice also happened in humans, who experienced a lowering in blood sugar.
Saltiel said: “The most exciting part of this is that we have a new drug that has never been studied before.
“It’s a new mechanism for a diabetes and fatty liver drug. It’s promising, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered still.”
While the drug will not yet be available to diabetes patients, it offers hope of a new way to treat type 2 diabetes.
Source : EXPRESS