There are a lot of ingredients that you might find in various over-the-counter cough medications, including alcohol and Dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan is known as DXM, it is one of the ingredients that young people use to get high, which is why a lot of cough suppressants now require you to have a valid photo identification to purchase. While products like DXM might be somewhat abusable among the population, this ingredient actually has been shown to help control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.
The medications that are out on the market now for diabetes often increase the basal levels of insulin secretion all of the time, which is why diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia. The antidiabetic medications such as Metformin can be thought of as just a general medication that cannot specifically react to glucose level fluctuations, meaning the secretions will go up whether your body needs that to happen or not.
New types of diabetes medications that only increase the insulin levels as the glucose levels rise have been in demand for quite some time, but that is difficult to create due to the very specific response from the pancreas. In order to get these new types of medications on the market, researchers are having to look at ways the pancreas can be altered, especially the pancreatic islet cells. There is a lot about the pancreas that is not known and the functions of the various parts of the pancreas are also still fuzzy, which is why getting these specific medications on the market has not been easy.
If you are unfamiliar with Dextromethorphan, also known as DXM, you might wan to know that NMDA receptors become triggered by the substance. NMDA receptors are found within the pancreatic islet cells, and researchers were looking for how one affects the other, and this can help determine how the DXM targets the NMDA receptors. For this research study, mice were used to test the various theories of how DXM and NMDA receptors worked. The researchers ended up removing these receptors in the mice, which caused the glucose-stimulated insulin secretion to rise, while the basal insulin secretion stayed the same. The researchers then tested whether or not the mice without the NMDA receptors would react the same way to the DXM, both those mice did not get the same type of reaction. For the researchers, this meant that it was fairly obvious that the DXM worked through the NMDA receptors and not through other tissues or through other means in the nervous system.
Through the specific theory and findings from the mice study, researchers were able to then test the theory through a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled study for humans. 20 men who had type 2 diabetes participated in this study, all of whom were taking various medications to help with their diabetes. What the results concluded was the same thing that was seen in the mice, which was that the DXM helped increase the glucose-stimulated insulin secretions and the glucose tolerance, but did not produce any hypoglycemic reactions.
For diabetic patients, this can be seen as a breakthrough, because it can give researchers and pharmaceutical companies another way to look at diabetes treatment. Instead of having to take antidiabetes medication that quite often results in hypoglycemia and gaps in blood sugar readings, diabetics might soon be able to take a dose of DXM to regulate blood sugar levels and increase tolerance to glucose. This is especially good for brittle diabetics, since they are the group that can go from extremely high to extremely low glucose levels within a matter of hours. Brittle diabetics are also the group that is more likely to experience hypoglycemia, so if there is a way to target the receptors and control blood sugar without the negative effects then it can help save lives.