Diabetes sufferers may soon be able to chew bubblegum for insulin, rather than take daily injections, if tests prove the method is successful, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.
Insulin must currently be injected as it is destroyed by the acid bath in the stomach. However, Professor Tejal Desai of the University of California is developing devices that use microscopic capsules to protect the insulin from stomach acid and intestine enzymes and are easily swallowed.
These capsules protect the insulin and then deliver it into the bloodstream by sticking to the gut wall and slowly releasing it into the bloodstream.
The capsules are now being tested for human use and the results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Physics, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Facts on diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, which affects 10 percent to 15 percent of those with diabetes, the pancreas doesn't produce insulin because the immune system has destroyed the insulin-producing cells. Four daily insulin injections are needed to control blood glucose levels.
With type 2 diabetes, cells in the body usually become insulin resistant which means insulin is no longer able to control blood glucose levels effectively. Healthy lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and regular exercise can often delay the need for medication, though many will require tablets and/or insulin.
According to Diabetes Australia, the number of Australians with diabetes (including pre-diabetes) is estimated at 3.2 million.
What do you think about this research? Comment below!