Insulin is a vital hormone that plays a major role in the metabolism: without insulin, humans would not be able to break down carbohydrates or digest food for energy. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels, stores excess glucose as glycogen and reduces glucose production in the liver. Many people, however, have trouble using insulin effectively. Forms of insulin resistance can lead to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, as well as other serious health problems.
Science researchers at Stony Brook University are in the process of planning clinical trials to confirm whether doxycycline may be an effective treatment for obese individuals who are resistant to insulin. The Stony Brook University scientists will conduct a three month clinical trial titled “Doxycycline for treatment of insulin resistance in obesity” in which a low dose of doxycycline will be administered twice a day or a placebo will be administered twice a day to a control group.
“The purpose of this clinical trial with doxycycline is to see if the drug with its multiple mechanisms of action reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in this population,” said Stony Brook scientist Dr. Marie Gelato, MD, PhD and Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Medicine. “If doxycycline does that effectively and consistently, it may reduce not only the risk of developing diabetes but also high blood pressure or heart disease.”
Dr. Marie Gelato
Image courtesy of Stony Brook University
Insulin resistance can be caused by a number of factors, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, heart disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. Food is usually absorbed into the bloodstream as sugars, glucose and other basic substances. Consequently, the pancreas increases the secretion of insulin when sugars are absorbed, and the insulin attaches to the cells to remove the sugar from the bloodstream so it can be used for energy.
Patients resistant to insulin have a diminished ability to respond to the hormone, so the pancreas secretes more and more insulin. Over time, insulin becomes less effective at dealing with sugars, so patients develop pre-diabetes or diabetes as the insulin levels can no longer handle elevated sugars. Another compounding factor in insulin resistance is that the growth of fat tissue cannot keep up with caloric intake, and fat accumulates in the muscle and liver, decreasing the effectiveness of insulin on tissues. Pre-diabetes can be the result, but Stony Brook University scientists believe doxycyline can help.
Doxycyline has proven an effective therapy for gum disease in the past. Science researchers at Stony Brook University are basing their clinical study on the idea that doxycyline reduces inflammation associated with being overweight, improves vascular health in patients with hypertension and helps with cellular improvement of insulin resistance. If the results of the clinical trial conclude that doxycyline is an effective treatment for insulin resistance, the health and life quality for countless patients with insulin resistance could drastically improve.
Ongoing clinical trials at Stony Brook are well-funded, and as science researchers need lab tools to conduct trials, this could be an excellent opportunity for lab supply companies to bring lab products to scientists conducting the trials. Stony Brook University scientists receive a significant amount of funding for clinical trials and other research studies. The university allotted $135.8 million towards research in the operating budget in 2013-2014. In addition, Stony Brook’s 1,039-acre campus on Long Island's North Shore will be adding a new research building thanks to new funding of $60 million that will be used to build a state-of-the-art Innovation and Discovery Center.
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites lab suppliers to exhibit at the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event at Stony Brook University on October 2nd, 2014. If you are interested in exhibiting at a life science vendor show closer to home, we encourage you to view the 2014 calendar of events. For more research funding statistics on Stony Brook University, or to learn more about our Stony Brook life science vendor show, click on the button below.