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A common anti-inflammatory drug may increase the risk of diabetes after just one week of treatment, scientists claim.
Up to three per cent of Britons take glucocorticoids to treat their asthma, arthritis, allergies, eczema and irritable bowel syndrome.
Researchers - Types - Prednisolone - Blood - Sugar
But researchers found one of the most common types - prednisolone - can impair blood sugar regulation after seven days of treatment.
Poor blood sugar control is known to lead to insulin resistance, considered a major driving force behind type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes - People - Medications - Prednisolone - Deltacortril
Steroid-induced diabetes is already known to occur in people who take medications like prednisolone, branded as Deltacortril in UK and Millipred in the US, over long periods of time.
But the Sapienza University of Rome team warned the process begins much earlier than previously thought.
Dr - Riccardo - Pofi - Team - Colleagues
Dr Riccardo Pofi and his team of colleagues presented their findings at The Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference in Brighton.
He said: 'This is the first study to examine the very short-term metabolic effects of commonly prescribed doses of glucocorticoids on healthy men.
Doses - Metabolism - Risk - Diabetes - Treatment
'[It] indicates, that even at these lower doses, glucose metabolism is impaired, suggesting an increased risk of diabetes with continued treatment.'
Dr Pofi and Professor Jeremy Tomlinson, from the University of Oxford, recruited 16 healthy male volunteers from the Oxford Bio-Bank.
Six - Volunteers - Prednisolone - Volunteers - Prednisolone
Six volunteers received 10mg of prednisolone and 10 volunteers received 15mg of prednisolone for seven days - a very low dose.
Before and after the trial, scientists measured the participant's weight and metabolic markers.
Test - Clamp - Method - Body - Insulin
A test called the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp was also used, which is the gold-standard method to assess how the body uses insulin.
The study found fasting blood sugar levels, weight and general health – which would be tested in clinic for risk of diabetes - was unaffected by the drug. Cholesterol also remained the same.
Group - Prednisole - Body
However, in the group given 15mg of prednisole, their body was 'significantly' less able...
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