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100 years of insulin use

Published: 17th Jan, 2022


It has been successful 100 years after the discovery of Insulin. This discovery and insulin’s rapid clinical deployment effectively transformed type 1 diabetes from a fatal diagnosis into a medically manageable chronic condition.


About Insulin

  • Insulin is a hormone created by pancreas that controls the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given moment.
  • It also helps store glucose in the liver, fat, and muscles. 
  • Finally, it regulates the body's metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Key-highlights of the discovery of  Insulin

  • Insulin was discovered by Sir Frederick G Banting, Charles H Best and JJR Macleod at the University of Toronto in 1921 — after which it was purified by James B Collip for safer testing on humans. 
  • It was the greatest medical breakthrough of the 20th century and remains the go-to treatment for type I diabetes globally today.
  • By 1920, scientists had understood the cause of type I diabetes, helping them then put together a cure or treatment for it. 
  • Islets, a cluster of cells in the pancreas that produces insulin, are destroyed when a person is suffering from type I diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. 
  • Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.
  • Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to type 1 diabetes. 
  • Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults.

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