Treating type 2 diabetes 

La Trobe researchers hope to transform the management of type 2 diabetes

Associate Professor Hayder Al-Aubaidy's research hopes to transform the management of type 2 diabetes.

He recently made a breakthrough discovery that may provide an alternative to current pharmacological treatments for type 2 diabetes.

“Around 40% of individuals with type 2 diabetes who are on monotherapy – a treatment using a single drug – still have difficulties with controlling their blood sugar levels,” explains Associate Professor Al-Aubaidy.

“To address this, these individuals additionally require ‘gliptins’. Gliptins are a type of drug that improves insulin release and reduces glucose production, leading to lower blood sugar levels.”

Gliptins are, however, costly and come with side effects.

“So, there is an immediate need for new and better-optimised treatment options, which may include evidence-based food-derived products, also known as nutraceuticals. This is where my recent research has been focused,” he says.

“We have discovered that, in addition to acting as antioxidants, the natural compounds found in citrus fruits called ‘citrus bioflavonoids’ decrease blood glucose levels in the same way that gliptins do.”

This discovery offers the potential for a new and innovative approach to treating diabetes and a viable alternative to the use of gliptins.

“It is expected that citrus bioflavonoid supplements may improve blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes,” says Associate Professor Hayder Al-Aubaidy.

“The next steps will be to test this hypothesis in a clinical trial, which could be easily done given that bioflavonoid-containing nutraceuticals are already approved for human use. This research is poised for rapid progress, potentially revolutionising the treatment landscape of type 2 diabetes.”