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Nuvilex, Inc. Medical Marijuana Research May Enhance Its Diabetes Studies

Nuvilex, Inc. Medical Marijuana Research May Enhance Its Diabetes Studies

Written by ι Stock Market Media Group Staff — May 29, 2013

Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB: NVLX) and its medical marijuana subsidiary, Medical Marijuana Sciences, Inc., may have just found a way to work side by side in an area of study where the parent company is already engaged.  Nuvilex, an international biotechnology firm, has conducted a preclinical diabetes study where the company was able to use its cell encapsulation technology to essentially develop a type of “artificial pancreas” that controls blood sugar levels and eliminates the need for insulin treatment. 

Now, a newly published study could have the two companies working hand in hand studying the potential effects of cannabis use and its ability to lower blood sugar levels.  The study published in the American Journal of Medicine may very well blend the two areas of research for Nuvilex. 

In the study titled, “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among U.S. Adults,” researchers investigated the blood sugar-related effects of cannabis use among participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2010.  The study showed there was a potential benefit from the use of cannabis.

As more and more states are legalizing the use of medical marijuana, research that centers on the effects of cannabis is starting to become more prevalent.  This, of course, is good news for Nuvilex’s subsidiary Medical Marijuana Sciences.

Nuvilex knows a little something about areas of this study relating to insulin and blood sugar levels.  In a 6-month study, pancreatic islet cells (produce insulin) from pigs were encapsulated using the company’s technology and the capsules containing the islet cells were then implanted into live, diabetic rats.  Within only a few days, the blood sugar levels of the rats became normal and stayed at normal levels for the duration of the study.

Interestingly the study came about when the authors of the study saw the results of other large studies registering lower rates of both obesity and diabetes among users of cannabis compared to the data among non-users.  So, the authors chose to examine cannabis use among the 4,657 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  When plowing through the data, they found contradictory data that, although cannabis users generally consume more calories than non-users, they live with lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and reduced rates of both obesity and diabetes. 

Among the participants in the national survey, 579 were currently using cannabis and 1,975 had previously used cannabis.  In order to assess blood glucose, insulin resistance and other factors among cannabis users, survey participants were organized into three groups:

1.         Those who had never used cannabis

2.        Those who had used cannabis but not within 30 days

3.        Those who were current users.

The authors put study participants through tests for fasting blood sugar levels, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) testing, and assessments of blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. 

Researchers found that participants who were current cannabis users had lower levels of fasting blood sugar, lower levels of insulin resistance, smaller waist circumference, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol, which is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  These results supported findings from previous studies where cannabis users showed improved weight, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced incidence of diabetes, compared to those participants who were non-users.

As Nuvilex’s subsidiary begins to dig into researching cannabinoids in its work on cancers of the brain and pancreas, the company may also consider the data found in this study and apply it to their own work in diabetes.  The exact relationship between cannabis and improved body mass and blood sugar isn’t completely known yet, but what researchers do have a better handle on is the belief that components of cannabis known as cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors in the brain.  It is believed that one of the results of such receptor binding is the  enhancement of the activity of a protein known as adiponectin.  This protein hormone is thought to help regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and play a part in controlling weight and in reducing the tendency toward developing diabetes. 

At the end of 2012, statistics showed that 22.3 million Americans, or seven percent of the U.S. population, have diabetes.  Last November, The International Diabetes Federation estimated that 366 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, and about another 180 million more are estimated as undiagnosed.  That number is expected to climb to 552 million by 2030 if “urgent action” isn’t taken – that’s 1 in every 10 people on the planet!  Worse yet, those numbers are estimated to grow to 1 in every 3 people by 2050 at its current pace.  So, this study and all the new research pouring into the medical marijuana arena is a welcomed sight if it can indeed bring positive information to the fight against diabetes, a disease with devastating and even deadly consequences.

Nuvilex Chief Operating Officer Dr. Gerry Crabtree said the company is focused on using its technology to improve the lives of those suffering from many diseases and diabetes is a key focus.  “At Nuvilex, we have an opportunity to use our unique cell encapsulation technology to try to help the millions of people worldwide who need daily insulin administration; these numbers are increasing by the day.  This is particularly important for young people with type-1 diabetes who must currently carry this burden for the rest of their lives, but also for those with type-2 diabetes, like me I might add, who cannot now, or will not in the future, be able to avoid the need for daily insulin.  We intend to grasp this opportunity and are dedicated to developing a treatment for diabetes with the greatest enthusiasm.”