Intensive therapy with insulin in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can help delay the progression of the condition, a new study has found.
The Chinese research found that early insulin treatment appeared to have restored the cells in the body that produce insulin, thereby restoring blood sugar balance.
The results of the trial, published in The Lancet, show that patients given an initial course of insulin injections did better a year later than those given a short course of oral diabetes drugs.
Around 2.35 million people in the UK have diabetes, the vast majority with type 2 diabetes where the body does not produce enough insulin.
The condition can often be treated by making simple lifestyle changes, supplemented by the use of medication where necessary.
Tests on 380 patients showed that insulin-producing beta cells had a better response to insulin after treatment, and that the effect was sustained after a year.
The leader of the study, Professor Jianping Weng, said good diabetes control can combat the damage caused by high blood sugar levels and rescue injured beta-cells.
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“This needs further research.” – Saman Vithanage, Sri Lanka