How to Potentially “Beat” Diabetes

Sep 1, 2023

Current treatments for diabetes include insulin, Glucotrol, Januvia, Metformin, Acarbose, Ozempic, Farxiga, Byetta, and potentially We Will Rock you by Queen. Also, potentially the soundtrack to the Avengers movie.

Huh? Say again??

Ok, so diabetes is a disease where the pancreas fails to secrete any or enough insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When insulin is absent or deficient, blood glucose or glycemia levels persistently rise. In Type 1 diabetes autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas is responsible for a lifelong dependence on injected insulin. Type 2 diabetes predominately involves resistance to the actions of insulin.

The problem with diabetes is that it predisposes to life-threatening health complications like stroke, heart attack, blindness, nerve pain or peripheral neuropathy, impaired wound healing, increased risk for infections, and kidney damage; hence, the importance to get blood sugar levels under control.

Yes, ok, but what does this have to with the band, Queen?

Well, a recent article in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology entitled Tuning of cellular insulin release by music for real-time diabetes control describes the use of engineered human cells that release insulin in response to sound. When these cells were implanted in mice, they released the most insulin, closely approximating the response of normal pancreatic cells, after exposure to the booming bass from Queen’s song, We Will Rock You, and to the Avengers’ movie soundtrack. Speech and various loud environmental noises like low flying aircrafts, lawn mowers, fire trucks, and horns did not stimulate the cells to release insulin.

New treatments specifically for type 2 diabetes are needed because currently available interventions usually fail over time, and because better and more long-lasting control of the disease is known to delay the onset and slow the progression of major diabetic complications like eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve disease.

To that end, and because this is an EpicentRx blog, we mention that another potential treatment for diabetes is the small molecule NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor, nibrozetone (RRx-001). A recent study with it, which we plan to write up and publish shortly, convincingly demonstrated that nibrozetone protected mice against diabetic kidney disease.

So, how to “beat” diabetes?

Well particularly type 2 diabetes is related at least in part to obesity. So, smaller portions and weight loss are essential. To increase fullness and hunger control for weight loss, it helps to eat more slowly, and to take small bites.

Maybe one day sound bytes too.