Insulin is a major protein hormone secreted by the b-cells of the
pancreas and is important for the control of diabetes. Insulin is
usually administered to diabetic patients through subcutaneous injection.
This mode of therapy has certain inherent disadvantages such as
local pain, itching and insulin lipodystrophy around the injection
site. Hence, pharmaceutical scientists have been trying to design
an oral delivery system for insulin. Many challenges are associated
with the oral delivery of insulin, relating to the physical and
chemical stability of the hormone, and its absorption and metabolism
in the human body. Here we discuss various strategies for the oral
delivery of insulin that are being tried out, as well as methods
used to improve the absorption of orally consumed insulin and to
reduce its degradation by digestive enzymes.
Read full article (187 Kb)