Medical Mysteries of Music

Ongoing History Daily: Can the music of Queen treat diabetes?

Diabetes is one of the most common afflictions found in the general public and there are many different drugs that can be used to treat it. But how about music? Can it be used to stimulate the body’s production of insulin? Apparently so.

Earlier this year, Swiss researchers published an article in the medical journal The Lancet detailing on a procedure where insulin-producing cells are implanted in the body and then subjected to different triggers from outside. They tried light, temperature, and electric fields. But there’s also another way to stimulate these capsules: music.

By exposing the patient to certain songs, the capsules do their magic, causing them to release insulin within just minutes. They tried all sorts of different tracks, but the one that’s worked the best—at least so far—is “We Will Rock You” by Queen.

A clinical application is still no feasible—this is just a proof of concept so far—but the results have been promising.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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