Promising News for People with Type 2 Diabetes
   

Promising News for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Research may soon uncover another treatment option for people who have type 2 diabetes. A recent study reinforced evidence that people with type 2 diabetes respond better to insulin if they are administered the amino acid L-carnitine intravenously. The researchers hope further studies will show it to be equally effective if taken orally.

Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to properly regulate sugar levels in the blood; the goal of a treatment program is to stabilize these blood sugar levels. Usually lifestyle changes are incorporated first. These include losing weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and eating low-fat, high-fiber foods. If these measures do not work, insulin injections are added. Insulin injections sometimes require oral hypoglycemic medicines to aid the absorption process. Unfortunately, there is evidence that two standard hypoglycemic medicines, troglitazone (brand name Rezulin) and metformin (Glucophage), may have serious side effects, such as liver damage. This is what inspired the authors of the study to research L-carnitine. If additional research shows that the amino acid is effective when taken orally, people with diabetes may be able to combine insulin therapy with oral L-carnitine and have a better option for staying healthy.


Glossary

Hypoglycemic: Abnormal decrease of sugar in the blood; hypoglycemic medicine works to counteract this event.

Insulin: A hormone in the body used to regular blood sugar levels.

Intravenously: Administering drug therapy directly into the veins through a needle.


Suggested Resources

Cryer, Philip E. American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes: The Ultimate Home Diabetes Reference. Alexandria, VA : American Diabetes Association; 1996.

Schade, David, Boyle, Patrick, and Burge, Mark. 101 Tips for Staying Healthy with Diabetes (& Avoiding Complications): A Project of the American Diabetes Association. Alexandria, VA : American Diabetes Association; 1996.

Drum, David E. and Zierenberg, Terry. The Type II Diabetes Sourcebook. Terry Zierenberg. Los Angeles: Lowell House ; Chicago : Contemporary Books; 1997.


References

Mingrone G, Greco AV, Capristo E, et al. L-Carnitine improves glucose disposal in type II diabetic patients. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999;18(1):77-82

Integrative Medicine Access, Diabetes Mellitus (professional and patient education sections).

Amazon.com for suggested readings


Review Date: September 1999
Reviewed By: Integrative Medicine editorial

Copyright © 2004 A.D.A.M., Inc

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