Diabetes is a chronic disease involving the body’s production and response to insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Unmanaged blood sugar damages blood vessels and nerves and many of the body’s system over time. This disease may cause blindness, neuropathy, kidney and cardiovascular disease, and lower extremity amputation.
During childhood, Type 1 diabetes occurs. When enough insulins are not produced by body it occurs and then daily insulin injections are needed. Type 1 diabetes is much rarer than type 2 diabetes and happens when the body does not use insulin effectively. This condition is related to lifestyle factors like physical inactivity and excess body weight.
The worldwide number of people living with diabetics has risen. According to WHO 2019, 1.5 million deaths worldwide were directly linked to diabetes. Still, research is going on to find out the underlying causes and mechanisms of diabetes. Earlier investigations have found that balancing glucose homeostasis (blood sugar level) affects the formation of bones and vice versa.
Some research supports some research that some antidiabetic drugs may affect the skeleton and that anti-osteoporosis drugs may influence glucose metabolism. In osteoporosis bones become weak, fragile and more changes of breaking increases. The knowledge of the effects of anti-osteoporosis medications on diabetes could help to prevent and treat diabetics.
In recent research, researchers from Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, conducted an observational study on how first-line osteoporosis medication, alendronate, affect type 2 diabetes risk. For many years, it has been known that people with diabetes are at greater risk of fractures than people without diabetes, said Rikke Viggers, MD, one of the authors of the study. Treatments against osteoporosis may as well impact glucose metabolism have been suggest by many studies carried out in past ten years. Alendronate may protect against type 2 diabetes. With a possible effect of higher compliance these results suggest in a dose-dependent manner. But Rikke said they question the mechanism of action.
From the Danish National Patient Registry, the hospital records were investigated by the researchers between 2008–2018. The purpose was to identify patients 50 years and older who had developed the disease after 2008. Then each of the induvial was matched with three randomly selected people without diabetes. The researchers investigated records from 490,764 matched controls and 163,588 people with type 2 diabetes. 45% of them were female and the main was said to be 67 years.
From the Danish National Health Service Prescription Database, the researchers also examined redeemed prescription records to determine whether participants used alendronate and how this influenced diabetes onset. It was found in the study that patients who had taken alendronate were 36% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than those who did not take it. The longer patients took alendronate, the lower their risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Those taking alendronate for more than eight years were 53% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not use the drug.
Rikke said they don’t know the mechanism of action, and if this even exists, a more clinal trial is needed. It is possible that the peripheral cell is directly impacted by alendronate. The effect can be possibly driven indirectly by alendronate’s general alteration of bone cells. The secretion and release of bone metabolites will be changed by this and they are potential actors in insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
The researchers concluded that their results suggest that alendronate can possibly have protective effect against type 2 diabetes. But they also said that future clinal research is need to see if alendronate regulates blood sugar levels.