Study finds Januvia use could help prevent diabetes

CLEVELAND — A drug used to treat diabetes also may prevent it, according to a new study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University took specially bred obese, prediabetic rats and gave them either Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin), placebo or glyburide, an older diabetes drug. Both of the diabetes drugs lowered blood-glucose levels after the rats had eaten, but only Junuvia raised the total output of insulin by the pancreas while lowering levels of glucagon.

“These animal studies suggest that sitagliptin should be tested in the clinic as a possible diabetes-preventing medication,” study leader Paul Ernsberger said. “It may act to shore up the function of the pancreas, which deteriorates during the onset of diabetes.”

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