Patients with chronic hepatitis C are always at a higher risk of developing diabetes as the virus can sometimes cause the body to develop resistance to insulin. Hence, researchers have been long looking for ways which could prevent this from happening.
A recent study, published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis, has found that cannabis could help reduce the risk of diabetes in patients previously diagnosed with hepatitis C.
For the study, a group of French researchers looked at over 10,000 subjects who had been diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) at some point in their life. After careful analysis of the claims made by the subjects, the researchers noted that those who regularly used cannabis were 51% less likely to develop diabetes over time. They also found that even those who had used it in the past (not regularly) had a reduced risk of developing the condition as compared to those who had never consumed it. Notably, for the research, the subjects were selected from the French national, multicenter, observational ANRS CO22 Hepather cohort.
Other factors which may increase the risk of Diabetes
The researchers also carefully analyzed other factors which may increase the likelihood of diabetes in people infected with HCV. Finally, they deduced the following ones, which could be the culprits:
- Tobacco Use
- Increased BMI
Through this large cross-sectional study of chronic Hepatitis C infected patients, the authors concluded that “cannabis use pointed towards a lower risk of diabetes independently of clinical and socio-behavioral factors.” However, further research is needed to identify the cannabis compounds and mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effect.
The findings of this study corroborate the inferences made by a previous study conducted in 2015, which, too, showed a lower risk of insulin resistance overall.