Frog skin is inspiration for potential diabetes treatment

ULSTER, Ireland New research has shown that the South American Pseudis paradoxa frog can actually stimulate the release of insulin and thus help millions of patients suffering from diabetes, according to published reports.

On the frog’s slimy skin is a peptide that is used to block it from infection, but has also been proven to increase insulin production in people with type 2 diabetes. In laboratory tests, researchers found that the paradoxical frog’s peptide, known as pseudin-2, increased release of insulin in cultured cells by 50 percent.

This would not be the first time a diabetes drug was created based on an animal’s secretions. Byetta is based on the saliva of an endangered lizard, the Gila monster of North America.

According to Yasser Abdel-Wahab, a senior lecturer in biomedical sciences at the University of Ulster, where the research took place, “We are at an exciting stage with this research,” he said. “We have tested a more potent synthetic version of the pseudin-2 peptide and have found that it has the potential for development into a compound for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Now we need to take this a step further and put our work into practice to try and help people with Type 2 diabetes.”

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