Oral administration of insulin basically comprises drugs, insulin, and oral medication procedures. Oral administration of drugs has substantially improved the quality of life of diabetes patients, especially those administered with insulin. Oral route has many advantages compared to the other routes of insulin delivery; such as higher patient agreement, quick hepatic insulinization, and prevention of peripheral hyperinsulinemia. However, possible adverse effects of oral administration are; hypoglycaemia and weight gain.
Oral delivery of insulin remains a challenge and emerging researches are underway as scientists attempt to improve them consistently. Challenges faced in the formation of oral insulin are:
- Degradation of insulin by proteolytic enzymes in the stomach
- Making the insulin accessible to the liver and
- Restricted absorption of insulin across the intestinal epithelium.
Protein encapsulation into nanoparticles is one emerging oral insulin variety of medication as it promotes insulin para-cellular or transcellular transport across the intestinal mucosa. Clinical tests indicated positive results of patients undertaking oral insulin. Major pharmaceutical companies are nowadays involved in the development of oral insulin. They are investing exponentially in oral insulin research. Thus, oral insulin is not a myth but a reality which will see more of in the upcoming years.