Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yeast-Based Oral Diabetes Treatment Discovered

Date:
January 3, 2008
Source:
University of Haifa
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a substance that may become an oral treatment for diabetes and its complications. Results indicate that the new yeast-derived treatment acts similarly to insulin in the rats, lowering the level of glucose, and of LDL-cholesterol, (the "bad" cholesterol), and raising the level of HDL-cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol).

Injecting insulin. There are a number of problems with insulin treatment; the main one being that insulin is not always an effective treatment, due to gradual development of resistance to the hormone. An additional problem is that insulin doses are not necessarily synchronized with the patient's physical activities or eating intervals.
Credit: iStockphoto/Rade Pavlovic

Research in the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science and Science Education of the University of Haifa has discovered a substance that may become an oral treatment for diabetes and its complications. The substance, which is derived from yeast, is called Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF).

"The research is now at the stage where the substance has been successfully tested on diabetic rats and was found to reduce sugar and lipids in the blood of the treated animals. The next stage of the research is to evaluate GTF efficacy in humans," said Dr. Nitsa Mirsky, who is conducting the research.

Diabetes is recognized as a major global health problem. Diabetes affects 5%-10% of the population in developed countries, while in developing countries the disease has been recently declared an "epidemic". Diabetics suffer from lack of insulin or a deficiency in the body's ability to respond to insulin. Diabetes is a chronic illness with no cure and can lead to kidney failure, heart problems, strokes or blindness, as well as other complications. Approximately 50% of diabetics are treated with insulin, which has to be injected, while the rest are treated with oral medications which tend to be more difficult to regulate and often have side effects.

According to Dr. Mirsky, there are a number of problems with insulin treatment; the main one being that insulin is not always an effective treatment, due to gradual development of resistance to the hormone. An additional problem is that insulin doses are not necessarily synchronized with the patient's physical activities or eating intervals. A large dose of insulin injected before a diabetic patient eats, for example, can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that can result in a diabetic coma and ultimately death. In addition, the fact that insulin must be injected is in and of itself difficult for many patients.

This current research was conducted on two levels: on diabetic rats and on the molecular-cell level. The results indicate that GTF acts similarly to insulin in the rats, lowering the level of glucose, and of LDL-cholesterol, (the "bad" cholesterol), and raising the level of HDL-cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol).

GTF inhibited oxidation processes that can cause atherosclerosis and result in further complications of the disease like strokes and heart attacks. Moreover, when GTF is given at early stage of the disease, it could prevent or delay renal complications. GTF also helped to prevent cataracts and retinal damage. It was also found that GTF improves the effectiveness of injected insulin. Further research is needed in order to find a combined regimen of insulin and GTF as a potential treatment for diabetes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Haifa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Haifa. "Yeast-Based Oral Diabetes Treatment Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226230111.htm>.
University of Haifa. (2008, January 3). Yeast-Based Oral Diabetes Treatment Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226230111.htm
University of Haifa. "Yeast-Based Oral Diabetes Treatment Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226230111.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins