New Stable Natural Drug Nanoformulation Brings Hope for Diabetes Type 2 Patients

Researchers from Zewail City’s Center for Materials Science (CMS) led by Prof. Ibrahim El-Sherbiny, Professor of Nano and Materials Sciences, Mansoura’s College of Pharmacy, and Mansoura’s Urology and Nephrology Center, succeeded in producing new stable, biocompatible and safe nanoformulation of Silymarin that has been tried on animal experiments to have improved anti-hyperglycemic, antioxidant and anti-hyperlipidemic properties compared to native one that can be used to treat patients with diabetes type 2.

The new nanoformulation was developed by a team led by El-Sherbiny, and the study was published in Nanomedicine Journal, on September 13, 2016.

El-Sherbiny explained that the currently used synthetic drugs for the management and treatment of diabetes are not completely effective and may cause side adverse effects when taken for a long period. In addition, many of them are expensive and not affordable by poor patients. “On the other hand, some phytotherapeutics from natural sources have been found to be potentially effective in controlling blood glucose levels.” Said El-Sherbiny.

“Incorporation of the phytotherapeutics into well-designed novel nanocarriers confer a targeted delivery and sustained release of them, and hence not only increase patient compliance via reducing the repeated administration, but also help to evade the side effects by reducing toxicity, and at the same time increases drug bioavailability and its therapeutic value,” El-Sherbiny added.

Previous studies showed that therapeutic effect of Silymarin may be hindered by its poor aqueous solubility as well as low intestinal permeability, and its damage by gastric enzymes and rapid excretion.

The researchers encapsulated Silymarin in nano-sized particles to enhance its bioavailability as well as absorption in a form of oral dose. They found the new nano-formulation to be a superior agent in the management of diabetes and its possible complications due to its enhanced bioavailability and the controlled release of the silymarin inside the body.

Silymarin is a safe and nontoxic agent that can be extracted from the Milk thistle plant. It has been found to be potentially effective in controlling blood glucose levels in diabetic animal models. This effect was achieved not only via activating the production of insulin and its release, but also by restoration of Langerhans β cells, which are responsible for Insulin production, and mitochondrial functions.