Verapamil Shows Promise for Diabetes

A calcium-channel blocker drug that is normally used to treat high blood pressure may also be helpful in treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Alabama.

Researchers found, for the first time, that verapamil was linked to lower fasting glucose levels in people with diabetes.

The study included different groups of diabetic adults who used various calcium channel blockers, insulin or a combination of the two.

Patients taking varapamil showed the best results.

"Strikingly, the observed difference in glucose levels is comparable to an approximately 1 percent reduction in HbA1C and to what would be expected from the addition of an approved diabetes drug," said Anath Shalev, M.D, study author.

Beta cell damage

Varapamil appeared to work on the structural level, the authors said, helping beta cells to function more effectively.

The drug was also showen to lower levels of TXNIP, a protein that is overproduced in people with diabetes and can cause beta cell death.

The trial is ongoing and also aims to reveal how effective verapamil is for type 1 diabetes patients.

"We can't infer causal relationship between using verapamil and lower glucose levels; but we can say there is an association with lower glucose levels, and that is absolutely encouraging," said Dr. Yulia Khodneva, study author.

The study is published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

Source: Science Daily

Image courtesy of voraorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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