Oral Insulin: Not Your Grandmother’s Insulin
Barry S. Horowitz, M.D., F.A.C.P.
February 7, 2022
Many diabetics have fears about taking insulin: they don’t want to take a shot; they will gain weight; and they will develop complications of diabetes. These concerns really have no basis in reality. However, a new oral form of insulin is being developed by a company called Oramed that could be a nice addition to our toolbox for treating type 2 diabetes.
It is important to understand that by the time someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they have lost about 50% of the pancreas’ ability to make insulin. The insulin production continues to decrease over time and many type 2 diabetics ultimately need to take insulin despite their best efforts to control their sugars. Thus, insulin plays an important role in the management of diabetes and should not be looked at negatively.
Insulin will not cause weight gain if it is properly managed. The reason some people think they might develop complications of diabetes with insulin (e.g. amputations, etc.) is that they have witnessed relatives who have experienced this. However, this is not due to taking insulin but rather the fact that their diabetes was probably under poor control for a long period of time such that complications were developing and the insulin was given much too late.
Insulin is injected because it is a protein that cannot be absorbed in the intestine. However, Oramed has figured out how to encapsulate insulin in a matrix such that it can be absorbed. This will not give the high levels of insulin that are achieved with injection, but will give sufficient levels to suppress the liver making sugar and decrease blood sugar levels. In addition to not having to take an injection, there is no weight gain. Please contact the Metabolic Research Institute (561) 802-3060, ext. 8036 for more information about a clinical trial we are conducting with oral insulin.