A new study conducted at theÂ University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that oxygen therapy can slow the onset of type 1 diabetes in mice. This has led some researchers to believe that oxygen therapy could be a future treatment for diabetes in humans. However, additional studies will need to be conducted before medical professionals can consider it an effective treatment tool for patients suffering from type 1 diabetes.
The study was led byÂ Dr. Antonello Pileggi, the head of one of the researchÂ programs at the school’s Diabetes Research Institute. Pileggi’s study used two different types of mice. One group of mice developed diabetes very quickly, which resembled the development of type 1 diabetes in humans. The other type of mice developed diabetes much more gradually. After conducting the research, Pileggi and his colleagues made two key observations:
- The progression of diabetes in mice slowed considerably. The change was due to a strengthened immune system over the course of the treatment.
- Mice undergoing oxygen therapy were up to 40% less likely to develop diabetes.
The study tested the use of hyperbaric oxygen delivery systems. This approach is considered a fairly benign and effective way of delivering oxygen through the blood system and to the tissues. Hyberbaric oxygen therapy has been found to be an effective way of healing many ailments and injuries. However, very few medical facilities use it as a means of treating patients.
The researchers have not been able to explain why hyperbaric oxygen therapy was an effective means of treating diabetes in the mice in their study. However, they noticed that the therapy did help strengthen the immune systems of the mice. Also, it helped create new beta cells.
Although this isn’t a guaranteed treatment for type 1 diabetes, it could be a complementary treatment on top of insulin injections or the administration of biguanides and other medications.
[box type=”important”]However. medical researchers can’t become too excited about the prognosis for using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat diabetes. They will need to conduct additional research before they can conclude that the therapy will be effective on humans.[/box]