Diabetes Breakthrough Might Result From Newly Discovered Hormone in Mice

June 2013 -- A recent discovery from a lab at Harvard University's Stem Cell Institute could be a step toward drastically reducing those painful numbers. Researchers there, led by the institute's co-director Douglas Melton, found a hormone that caused an amazing increase in the ability of mice to produce their own natural insulin.

The hormone, called betatrophin, caused up to a 30-fold boost in the production of beta cells, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The lab's results were published last month in the journal Cell.

"Imagine instead of taking three insulin injections a day, if you took one injection of betatrophin a month, or every year," said Melton. Then "your body makes more beta cells and then those beta cells produce the insulin you need."

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