November 20, 2008

Garlic compound a potential diabetes drug

A drug based on a chemical found in garlic has treated type 1 and type 2 diabetes in mice, researchers in Japan said.

Hiromu Sakurai and colleagues from the Suzuka University of Medical Science gave the drug based on vanadium and allaxin -- a compound found in garlic -- orally to type I diabetic mice. The researchers said they found it reduced blood glucose levels.

In previous work, the researchers had discovered the vanadium-allaxin compound treated both diabetes types when injected, but this new study shows the drug has promise as an oral treatment for the metabolic disease, the researchers said.

Type I diabetes is currently treated with daily injections of insulin, while type 2 diabetes is treated with drugs some bearing side effects, Sakurai said.

The findings were published online ahead of print an issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal Metallomics.