Could there someday be a vaccine for diabetes?
Just two shots helped autoimmune diabetics improve blood sugar control for eight years in this small study.
How does that work? First, the vaccine addressed the underlying autoimmune cause, by helping to calm the immune system. Second, it caused cells to change they way they use blood sugar, increasing consumption 10 to 20 times. The result was lower blood sugars and lower complications of diabetes, with no side effects.
While this study is too small to change how we treat diabetes right now, it has large implications for how we think about autoimmune disorders.
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that just two doses of the tuberculosis vaccine bacillus Calmette-Guérin restores blood sugar in diabetes patients to near-normal levels for as long as eight years by changing a key metabolic process.