Researchers are developing a new drug that may prevent the onset of diabetes and reverse the symptoms of the disease.

Researchers Bruce Hammock at the University of California, Davis, and Joan Claria at the University of Barcelona found that an enzyme called soluble epoxide hydrolase, or sEH, inhibitor both prevented the onset of diabetes and reversed its effects in obese mice.

The potent enzyme inhibitor discovered by Hammock’s laboratory dramatically reduces inflammation, inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain.

“Our previous studies show the drug we are working on will reduce the symptoms of diabetes in mice by itself,” Hammock said, adding that if the mice have a genetically increased level of omega-3 fatty acids the drug offers prevention or cure.

The new drug apparently works by stabilising metabolites of an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. These metabolites are thought to contribute to the beneficial effects of a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, Hammock said.

Previous UC Davis research has shown that the enzyme reduces or reverses such diabetes-linked medical issues as renal failure, hypertension, diabetic pain, hardening of the arteries and heart failure.

Claria described the administration of the sEH inhibitor as “a promising strategy to prevent obesity-related co-morbidities.”

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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