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Oral insulin: is it just a dream?

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    Thousands of people who have diabetes all over the world need daily insulin injections to control your blood glucose levels and prevent complications such as blindness, amputations, heart attacks, erectile dysfunction, etc.

    Insulin is a hormone necessary for our body to effectively use glucose (sugar in the blood). In people without diabetes, the body produces and secretes insulin, which promotes the transport of glucose from the bloodstream to the tissues, where it is used for energy.

    All the people who have Diabetes type 1 and many people who have type 2 diabetes You need these injections daily to control blood glucose levels. The number of daily applications will vary from person to person, since the diabetes treatment is individualized.

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    Insulin injections require training on the part of the patient or caregiver, take time, disrupt daily schedules and are considered unpleasant by many people, disrupting their lifestyle.

    Many people with type 2 diabetes stop taking insulin or even drop out because of fears, such as:

    • needle phobia
    • fear of hypoglycemia
    • I am afraid that long-term use of insulin will further damage your health
    • Think the apps will be painful
    • fear of gaining weight
    • Fear of not being able to leave the house anymore

    Applying insulin

    Insulin must be delivered into the subcutaneous tissue, that layer of fat just below our skin. For this to happen effectively, there are several devices, such as: syringes, pens and continuous infusion pumps.

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    The use of insulin requires a great deal of knowledge and training on the part of the patient or their caregiver. There are many details that, when not paid attention to, can compromise the patient’s glycemic control.

    Why is insulin not administered orally?

    Until then, we still do not have an insulin in the form of a tablet that, when ingested, passes through the stomach without being modified by gastric juice. The priority in administering insulin to a patient is to ensure that it reaches the bloodstream intact, as only then can it play its role in controlling blood glucose levels.

    You may be wondering: but why not a sublingually absorbed insulin? The great difficulty is how to individualize the dose to be used to avoid hypoglycemia.

    There are also technologies that allow the passage of substances through the stomach, without modifying its structure, in this way the insulin would be absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the intestine, but then we fall into the same situation of individualizing the necessary dose. .

    Really, the life of a person with diabetes would be easier if there were an insulin pill, at the given moment it would only be necessary to swallow a pill and that’s it, glucose levels would be controlled, people could have a full and healthy life. , moving away from the complications of uncontrolled diabetes.

    Will we have Oral Insulin in the near future?

    Many research groups around the world are attempting to develop an oral insulin delivery system, mainly in the form of tablets or capsules, due to convenience and increased rates of patient compliance.


    Successfully addressing these issues will create a new paradigm in diabetes treatmentwhat would be a real revolution.

    A switch to oral insulin delivery has the potential to improve insulin therapy uptake and revolutionize diabetes care, as it is a non-invasive therapeutic approach that does not cause the side effects caused by frequent subcutaneous injection. .

    researchers of New York University in Abu Dhabi developed a capsule, using a nanotechnology technique.

    The basis for the use of nanotechnology is the nanometer, a unit of measurement like the kilometer, meter and centimeter. It is equivalent to one billionth of a meter, which opens up many possibilities, but also poses great challenges to be able to work on such a small scale. The greatest proof of this difficulty is the fact that only laboratories and industries that have high-precision equipment can handle this technology.

    To be considered an effective method of oral insulin delivery, the proposed system must include a biocompatible platform that offers insulin protection against external acidic environments and enzymatic degradation.

    Another concern is the correct targeting of insulin to the cellular receptor, along with the release of insulin in response to stimuli, such as hyperglycemia.

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    Nanocarriers, such as solid, inorganic, polymeric lipid nanoparticles, have emerged as effective insulin transporters, avoiding many of the problems associated with oral administration of insulin and showing promise for desirable biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic properties.

    By using prepared layers of insulin-loaded nanosheets between each layer, it is possible to protect it. Using this technique, the researchers developed gastroresistant imine-bound covalent organic framework (nCOF) nanoparticles that exhibit protection against insulin in the stomach, as well as in diabetic guinea pigs, whose sugar levels returned completely to normal within two hours. to its ingestion. nanoparticles.

    This technology has the potential to enable oral administration of insulin in a safer, more efficient and more comfortable way for the patient; alleviate the burden of treatment that is limited to intravenous or subcutaneous administration.

    Compared to the two FDA-approved technologies, our system is biocompatible, highly stable in the stomach, cost-effective, specific, and sensitive to glucose. Therefore, it represents a step forward in the future of oral insulin delivery and a new avenue for the treatment of type I diabetes through nCOF-based oral insulin delivery.

    To access the full article, click here.

    Want to know more about injectable medications and diabetes?

    Most people believe that the only injectable medicine to treat diabetes is insulin, the world of injectable diabetes medicine has outgrown this aspect. We have drugs to treat severe hypoglycemia, drugs that regulate type 2 diabetes, as well as help with weight loss.

    To clarify these doubts and make everything clearer, I have created a 100% online course, with recorded classes that you can access from wherever you want, as long as you have an internet connection.

    For more details, click the button below:


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