A new study published in Nature Medicine found that a drug used to treat high blood pressure could help patients with type 1 diabetes stabilize blood sugar levels.
Verapamil, a calcium channel blocker, was found to slow the loss of insulin producing beta cells in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Taken in conjunction with insulin, patients reduce risk of over overcorrecting blood sugar levels and require less insulin overall.

Finger pricks and daily insulin injections are currently the leading regimen for those with type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the body’s insulin producing cells beta cells are destroyed. And it’s not foolproof.

Patients can often face risks over overcorrecting their blood sugar levels, which can potentially lead to hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — and coma.

Insulin is responsible for regulating the amount of sugar in the blood, and dysfunctions with it can cause diabetes. There are two types of diabetes, type 2 diabetes, in which the body becomes insulin resistant and can’t effectively use it, and type 1 diabetes, in which the immune system destroys large portions of the beta cells responsible for making insulin in the pancreas. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 30 million people in the US had diagnosed diabetes, and about 5% of them had type 1 diabetes.

Scientists sought to remedy this by repurposing an old drug to do new tricks. A new study published in Nature Medicine found that verapamil, a drug used to treat high blood pressure, could also be effective at stabilizing blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 diabetes by improving beta cells survival and function.

Dr. Anath Shalev, an author of the study and a professor of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, said they found …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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