Preventing Diabetes with… Gout Treatments?

On the surface, it would seem that diabetes and gout would have almost nothing in common. But suppose that a treatment for gout could be useful for keeping diabetes at bay? Believe it or not, this could be the case.

Strong Medicine

The drug in question is known as colchicine, a drug available in both liquid and tablet form. It is typically used to combat gout, a condition characterized by the sudden appearance of sharp joint pain. In 2019, however, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reached a rather surprising conclusion – colchicine could have the effect of mitigation complications related to metabolic syndrome. In turn, this makes those receiving the drug less susceptible to type 2 diabetes.

For their study, the NIH team recruited 40 participants. Of this figure, 21 were placed in the colchicine-receiving group. In contrast, the remaining subjects were given placebo treatments. Those in the colchicine group were required to take the drug twice per day over a period lasting three months.

Under the Microscope

Upon the conclusion of the period, the authors examined the performance of insulin within the subject’s bloodstreams. They found that those who had been administered the twice-daily treatments of colchicine showed noticeable improvement on the Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance test. This test is designed to measure the amount of insulin necessary to maintain normal blood sugar levels while the body is fasting.

Furthermore, those assigned to the colchicine group also performed better on C-reactive protein tests. In other words, they were found to have lower levels of this protein in their bloodstreams, results that indicate a relative lack of inflammation.

Released in April of 2019, the report was sponsored by both the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The authors do caution that larger-scale research will need to be undertaken to confirm their reports’ conclusions regarding colchicine.

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