February 7, 2014

Building a Better Basal Insulin

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buildingThe most common type of insulin is basal insulin. This insulin provides fuel for homeostatic functions. A study published in Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Journal explains how new insulin could be exactly what we’ve been yearning for in the analogue line-up.

The optimum basal insulin therapy provides a relatively peakless and more physiologic  response in blood glucose. Insulin analogues like NpH, Lente, and Ultralente did a pretty good job but researchers believe they can do better.

Nowadays, Novo Nordisk is developing the ultra long-acting analogue insulin degludec and Lilly is developing  pegylated insulin lispro.

Clinical trials are being done to determine the efficacy, safety and tolerability of these newer longer-acting insulin analogs. Rates of low blood sugar were low, glucose control was as good or better than currently available basal insulin analogs, and rates of nighttime low sugars were significantly lower.

Although neither Novo or Lilly are highlighting the obvious perks to more physiologic insulin analogues, those of us will be happy to know that these new kids in town may actually help control weight. The circulating insulin in the body is less and therefore the body needs less glucose circulating. The end result is less stored fat.

Quite simply, injected insulin is an imperfect science. To truly be perfect, the insulin would need to depend on the liver for dispersing the insulin adequately for the glucose supply in the blood. The next generation of basal insulin may be just what we need for equal distribution.

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