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San Antonio doctor begins clinical trials of nightly insulin pill

Oral treatment could eliminate need for shots

SAN ANTONIO – Many have tried, many have failed. That's been the story of efforts to simplify the daily need for insulin for Bexar County's nearly 2 million diabetics. Clinical Trials of Texas is looking for about 20 test subjects to try a nightly pill that could replace the need for shots.

Dr. Douglas Denham at CTT said it's been the holy grail, so to speak, of the insulin world, but now it may be found.

"To take something orally, it has to go through the GI system. It has to go down into the stomach, which is very acidic environment. Proteins don't like acid, it destroys them. This one had to be coated and protected so it could get though, and then work, and dissolve, and be released into and get absorbed in the bloodstream," he explained.

In fact, an oral insulin may work better than injections into the bloodstream because the pill will process much like natural insulin, which is secreted through the pancreas. It was originally discovered by a group of researchers, including Dr. John MacLeod, who jointly received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923. Efforts to create an oral version almost immediately commenced, but have failed until  now.

If you would like to become a part of the clinical trial, visit SAresearch.com or call 210-949-0122. You will be given diabetes supplies, medical care and a stipend for your time and energy.