The active ingredient dextromethorphan, which is contained in many over-the-counter cough remedies, has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus), according to results of an international study published in Nature Medicine.

Using electrophysiological methods to measure electrical currents through cell membranes, the research group showed that dextromethorphan extends the periods of electrical activity in beta cells. It is precisely during these periods, so-called bursts, that the cells secrete insulin.