Poisonous Lizard produces potion for Diabetes
An often debated question is should we conserve
poisonous animals or organisms. “It should be”, will be the
answer with regard to a poisonous lizard. There are only
two poisonous lizards known to the world. They are Gila
monster (Heloderma suspectum) and Mexican beaded
lizard (Heloderma horridum) found in rapidly declining
numbers in Mexico and south west of US.
Now scientists are able to extract a medicine from the
Gila monster. The interesting side is that we need not kill
the lizard to prepare the drug. A scientist discovered a
hormone with a structure similar to GLP-1, which regulates
blood glucose and satiety. The discovery was made known
to the scientific community in 1992 and the scientist who
discovered this had not seen the creature even!
The drug is very useful in type in type 2 diabetes, which
is seen in old persons. The special feature of the drug is
that it stimulates the insulin production when it is needed i.
e. when the blood glucose level is high. This does not lead
to low blood sugar level, which often associated with other
anti-diabetic drugs. Another big feature of this drug is that
it gives the patient a feeling of satiation. This will help the
patient in controlling the food intake, which is very
important in diabetes, for weight control.
Two pharmaceutical companies have made the product
available in the market and the FDA has given the
approval for the product, for clinical use. Currently, the
drug is to be given twice a day and a long acting
preparation is expected in the market soon after clinical
Interestingly, as diabetic canine population is on the rise,
let us hope that our canine friends will also find the long
acting preparation as a boon!
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