Monday, November 29, 2021

New Drug Treatment

 I haven't seen a lot of new treatments for type 2 diabetes lately. Most research seems to concern refining current approaches, but here is a study about a drug, phenylbutyrate, commonly prescribed for urea cycle problems, that seems to help in type 2 diabetes.

I confess I'd never heard of phenylbutyrate, as I haven't had urea cycle problems, but the drug helps to remove urea from the blood. It also seems to improve insulin sensitivity and the oxidation of glucose. No adverse effects were found in the cited study, but the study was short term.

The idea that phenylbutyrate affects glucose metabolism is not new. For example, this 2011 study suggests that it helps reduce lipid-induced insulin resistance and improves beta cell function.

Phenylbutyrate works by breaking down branched-chain amino acids, which are amino acids that instead of having straight chains, have branched chains. They are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. How this affects glucose metabolism is not clear.

In other words, phenylbutyrate may help with glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetes, but it's not a miracle cure. Nevertheless, if you know it might be helpful, you can be alert to other news about this prescription drug.

Type 2 diabetes is such a complex disease, with genetics, lifestyle, and current food growing and processing all having effects. We will eventually figure it all out if we don't destroy the planet first. But it's going to take a long time.

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