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Pigs May Help Us Cure Diabetes: Swine Pancreas Transplant Key To Treatment

Update Date: Apr 20, 2016 04:20 AM EDT

The pigs have the key to cure diabetes. Swine pancreas transplant was reported to treat three patients with type 1 diabetes in China.

According to Times of India, three patients received the swine pancreas transplant between July 13 and February 2016 at the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University in Hunan Province in partnership with the researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Professor Wang Wei stated that one of the three patients reduced the used of insulin by 80.5 percent while the other two were reduced by 57 and 56 percent after the swine pancreas transplant.

The results are reliable based on a review that was conducted by the Hunan provincial health authorities and the research is expected to resolve the problems with regards to the shortage of organs for transplant.

Meanwhile, the swine pancreas transplant is restricted due to the fears that some virus from the animal might be transferred to human. However, the Japanese Government relaxed the rules last week after no documented cases regarding the transplant were recorded, Daily Mail reported.

The transplant however, is reported to be expensive and may cause notable side-effects and needs more animal-related breakthroughs may need that would offer a more practical treatment.

Some patients in the Great Britain have undergone the human equivalent of this process where pancreatic cells from a deceased donor were implanted into the patient's liver. It is called islet transplantation

Five years ago, it was discovered that human organs could grow in pigs and can be used in transplant operations. The director of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Tokyo, Professor Hiromitsu Nakauchi, in 2011, found that it is possible to create animals that have organs from another species by injecting stem cells into the animal's embryo.

In 2013, on the other hand, researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University suggested that pig cells could control the diabetes by implanting it in the skin.

Type 1 diabetes usually occurs on young adults and children and was known as juvenile diabetes. Only five percent of people have this kind of diabetes.

When the pancreas stopped producing insulin, which is a hormone the breaks down the sugar in the blood, this is the time when the type 1 diabetes occurs. It will result to an increased level of blood sugar that damages the body's internal parts. Swine pancreas transplant will help the production of the insulin that would correct the type 1 diabetes.

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