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Saliva of Venomous Lizard Could Offer Cure for Diabetes

by VR Sreeraman on September 13, 2007 at 6:56 PM
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Saliva of Venomous Lizard Could Offer Cure for Diabetes

Clinical trial of a drug developed from the saliva of a particular type of venomous lizard has shown it helps keep blood sugar level under control and may help lose weight and cure type 2 diabetes, a scientist said.

The drug known as Byetta was developed from the saliva of the Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum), a lizard native to South America.

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The lizard's venom contains insulin-secreting properties and resembles a naturally occurring hormone found in the human stomach, reported the online edition of Radio Australia.

When Byetta is injected into humans it causes an enhancement of glucose-induced insulin secretion, Royal Brisbane Hospital endocrinologist Michael d'Emden said.

"So as your sugar level goes up after a meal, this molecule stimulates the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas, to secrete more insulin and keep your sugar levels under control," he said.

Source: IANS
LIN /J
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