Artificial hormone improves insulin release

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Artificial hormone helps diabetics

German researchers have made a small breakthrough in the manufacture of an active ingredient against diabetes. With the help of an artificially developed molecule, the blood sugar level is lowered. The newly developed peptide increases insulin release in the body and is said to enable more effective treatment for diabetes. It copies the effects of two gut hormones.

The hormone was developed by a team of scientists from the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at the Helmholtz Center under the direction of Matthias Tschöp. The results have now been published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine".

Active ingredient could help you lose weight
In addition to treating diabetics, the new active ingredient could also help you lose weight. In the experimental studies, some participants felt sick, but overall the side effects are weaker than with previous active ingredients. Previous drugs had primarily targeted the GLP-1 hormone. The potential of the hormone GIP is also used in the new active ingredient. Researchers have long been targeting these two hormones in diabetes therapies because they stimulate insulin release after meals. Due to the almost identical structure, the artificial hormone has similar effects.

After the preparation was successfully tested on rats and monkeys, the researchers initiated an investigation with a group of 53 overweight Type 2 diabetics. The subjects were given increasing amounts of the active ingredient during the six-week study phase. Insulin secretion and blood sugar levels improved compared to a control group that had not received the active ingredient. "However, we believe that there will be no single drug that works optimally for all diabetics. That is why we are working on a number of tailor-made combinations for personalized prevention and therapy of diabetes," said Tschöp.

German experts have hopes
The results of the study show new and interesting possibilities for the German Diabetes Society. "In the future, as with any new drug, it must be checked whether the new one is superior to the established one and ideally also has fewer side effects," said DDG spokesman Andreas Fritsche. Ultimately, however, further studies must follow in order to assess the full effectiveness of the drug. (fr)

Image: Henrik Gerold Vogel /

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