With the amount of starchy, sugary foods on the market today, we can never be too careful about our insulin sensitivity. Consuming too many high glycemic foods can decrease insulin sensitivity so much that we can develop adult-onset type 2 diabetes over time. Diabetes is bad in so many ways, causing (for example) heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and threatening the health of extremities.
Now there is hope for prediabetics (those with a high level of insulin insentivity). A new study presented on June 9 during the 68th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco, has shown that people in prediabetic state were 81% less likely to convert their insulin insensitivity to type 2 diabetes when treated with a drug called pioglitazone, brand name Actos®.
Lead researcher Dr. Ralph A. DeFronzo, professor and chief of diabetes at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said the study also showed that the subjects taking pioglitazone also recovered part of their insulin production and their bodies became more sensitive to insulin. Higher insulin sensitivity means we can use insulin more efficiently to control plasma glucose or blood sugar.
The study involved 602 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance, a prediabetic state, along with 102 healthy controls.
The findings revealed that 45 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance developed diabetes after receiving a placebo, but only 10 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance developed diabetes while taking pioglitazone.
The study also showed that 42% of individuals using pioglitazone returned to normal glucose tolerance at the end of the study versus 28% of those using the placebo.
Why it Works
Pioglitazone corrects two core defects in type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and beta cell failure. Beta cells are the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin.
Dr. DeFronzo has stated:
The drug is the best insulin sensitizer we have and it also preserves beta cell function. The clinical response in this study is next to astronomical, not 100 percent but obviously highly significant.
Currently, there is no drug available that has been approved by the USFDA for prevention of progression to diabetes by treating the predibetic state. Therefore, a drug to treat impaired glucose tolerance and prevent further degradation is of great importance.
If you have already have developed type 2 diabetes, and you are looking for some help regulating your blood sugar, read this study on how the drug exenatide brings good news for people with type 2 diabetes.