Drinkable insulin breakthrough

INSULIN injections could become history for millions of diabetics, thanks to a breakthrough by Scottish chemists. A drinkable insulin has been developed, spelling an end to the four jabs a day that many patients have to endure.

There are 135 million diabetics worldwide, and it is expected that the figure will rise to 300 million by 2025. There are 575,000 insulin-dependent diabetics in the UK alone.

Biochemists at Ayr’s Hannah Research Institute, however, believe that their discovery will revolutionise the lives of those with the condition.

Currently insulin, which is used to control blood glucose levels, has to be injected, as digestion of it would make it useless. Soon, however, it could be carried by an emulsion liquid, known as APSET, which is stable in the stomach’s acidic conditions.

The substance has already carried insulin, growth hormones and vitamin E successfully through a simulated digestive system.

Tests will be carried out on animals before the product is tried on humans, but the developers of APSET - acid protein stabilised emulsion technology - are confident that their discovery signals a major change in the way diabetes sufferers are treated, it was reported .

Jenny Hirst, of the Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust UK, welcomed the news with "a touch of caution". She said: "If someone has done this and can do this and if this is as safe and effective and controls blood sugars as well as insulin that is injected, this will be the answer to a lot of people’s prayers."

No-one from the institute was available for comment.

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