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Blood Sugar Fix

Can novel drugs rescue insulin-making cells?

By
11:14am, August 12, 2003

Twenty years ago, scientists discovered an unusual substance made by cells lining the intestines. It would have gone unnoticed except for one remarkable quality: The compound, called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1), acted as a hormone, inducing cells in the pancreas to churn out insulin. Scientists promptly realized that GLP1 had strong potential. People with diabetes could certainly use it because they either manufacture too little insulin or need extra insulin to get by. Plus, GLP1 appeared safe, since it's a natural compound circulating in everyone's body. The finding seemed too good to be true.

Alas, it was. GLP1 turned out

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