Oral insulin: Can it prevent diabetes?

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 19, 2007

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Researchers have launched a clinical study of oral insulin to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes in at-risk people.

An earlier trial suggested that oral insulin might delay the disease for about four years in some people with autoantibodies to insulin in their blood. Animal studies also have found that oral insulin may prevent type 1 diabetes.

Researchers will be testing if an insulin capsule ingested daily can induce tolerance, or a quieting of the immune system. Insulin taken orally apparently has no side effects because the digestive system breaks it down quickly.

First- and second-degree relatives of people with type 1 diabetes who may be at risk for developing the disease are being screened as participants. The study is being conducted in more than 100 medical centers under the auspices of Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, a National Institutes of Health-funded network.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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