The week of October 10, 2013, the periodical Diabetologia published the surprising results of a study recently completed in the field of type 1 diabetes research. Once released, it quickly made headlines around the world.
The noteworthy research was conducted by a series of professionals affiliated with the National Institute for Health Research Exeter Clinical Research Facility. It is located at the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom. One of the lead researchers involved with the study was Dr. Richard A. Oram.
The venerable Dr. Oram and his cohorts studied 74 participants in the hopes of obtaining additional information on C-peptides and insulin production in type 1 diabetics. They tested the subjects using ultrasensitive assays over a period of several years. What they uncovered as a result of that testing was quite stunning.
They determined that contrary to long held beliefs, type 1 diabetics’ bodies do continue to produce insulin via beta cells. However, those insulin levels are extremely low. Beta cells, for those who may be unaware, are found in a healthy person’s Islet’s of Langerhans. The Islet’s of Langerhans is situated in a person’s pancreas. It helps human’s store and release insulin as needed.
Now that the researchers have proven the existence of insulin production in type 1 diabetics, they are hoping to expand their work further. One of the topics that they hope to work on in the future is the creation and transplant of new beta cells. It is presently believed that the creation and transplant of such cells may eventually pave the way towards a highly sought after cure.