Novel research in Columbia University has found a new source of insulin secreting cells – intestine cells.
People with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin which is responsible for breaking down sugar in the bloodstream and too much sugar can cause major problems in the kidneys, heart, teeth and eyes. Until now, diabetics have had to supplement their lack of insulin with regular injections but this research indicates a possible new avenue of home grown treatment.
Using gene therapy, the researchers managed to produce insulin in the gut cells of mice. They are hopeful these cells could be grown in the human gut and even respond automatically to heightened levels of insulin.