Insulin Discovery & Development: Animal vs. Synthetic Human Insulin
Islets of Langerhans - Extraction of Pure Insulin

Carbs in Food
Glycemic Index GI of Carbs
Glycemic Load of Carbs
GI Diet - Low GI Diet

Information About Carbs | Carbohydrates Guide | Low Carb Diets

The Discovery and Development of Insulin

Insulin, a hormone produced by beta cells in the islets of Langerhans, inside the pancreas, plays a central role in the regulation of blood sugar. A type 1 diabetes patient (whose pancreas no longer produces sufficient insulin) needs insulin injections to survive. Here's a brief summary of how insulin was discovered and developed.

Islets of Langerhans

In 1869 Paul Langerhans, a medical student in Berlin, noticed some previously unidentified cells scattered in the exocrine tissue of the pancreas. The function of these cells, later named Islets of Langerhans, was unknown, although it was believed they secreted a material that affected digestion.

Diabetes and Islets of Langerhans

In 1901, Eugene Opie discovered that Diabetes mellitus is caused by the destruction of the Islets of Langerhans. Although the link between the pancreas and diabetes was by then established, Opie was the first to recognize the specific role of the Islets of Langerhans. There then followed several years of research into how to isolate and extract the secretions of the islets, in order to treat patients with diabetes.

Insulin Extraction

However the practical extraction of insulin was achieved in 1921 by researchers at the University of Toronto in 1921, including Frederick Banting, J.J.R. Macleod and Charles Best, from dogs. At Banting's suggestion further tests were performed on calf pancreas', and with the help of biochemist James Collip, the extracted insulin was purified and given (on January 11, 1922) to a 14 year old diabetic patient, Leonard Thompson. Unfortunately the insulin extract was insufficiently pure, and triggered a severe allergic reaction. However, within three weeks, purification of the insulin-extract was improved and the symptoms of diabetes in the patient were treated successfully. Shortly thereafter, in conjunction with the pharmaceutical company Eli Lily, work began on commercial production of pure insulin. For their part in the extraction of insulin, Macleod and Banting were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923. (In response to this 'unfair' award, Banting shared his prize with Best, and MacLeod shared his prize with Collip!)

Synthetic Human Insulin

In 1978, using recombinant DNA techniques, scientists synthesized human insulin from the E coli bacteria. Eli Lily went on to develop the first synthetic human insulin, called Humulin, in 1982.

General Advice For Diabetics
Diabetes Information
Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes Test
Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes Management
Diabetes Health Problems
Diabetes and Weight Loss
Gestational Diabetes
Pre-Diabetes Guide
Hyperglycemia - High Blood Glucose
Hypoglycemia - Low Blood Glucose
Diabetic Diet Advice
Diabetes, Carbs and Diet
Diabetes Health on Low Carb Diet
Obesity Information
Diabesity, Diabetes and Obesity

Hormone to Lower Blood Glucose
Insulin Information
Insulin Hormone & Blood Glucose
Hyperinsulimia - High Insulin Levels
Insulin and Glucose For Brain
Insulin and Obesity
Insulin Development
Types of Insulin
Synthetic Insulin: Animal/Human
Long Acting Insulin
Intermediate Acting Insulin
Rapid Acting Insulin
Short Acting Insulin
Insulin Resistance
Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Carbs
Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Carbs and Glycemic Response
Carbohydrates Information
Complex Carbs Guide
Facts About Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Digestion of Carbs
Blood Glucose Levels
Glucose into Energy
Blood Glucose Monitor/Meter
Glycemic Index Food Chart
Glycemic Index - How Measured?
What Affects Glycemic Value?
Glycemic Value of a Meal
Health Effects of High GI Carbs
Glycemic Index Food Pyramid
GI Diet Recipes

Glycemic Index (GI)
GI Values in Carbohydrates
GI Value For Beans
GI Value For Bread
GI Value For Cereal
GI Value For Dairy Food
GI Value For Drinks
GI Value For Fruit
GI Value For Meat/Fish
GI Value For Nuts
GI Value For Snacks
GI Value For Starchy Carbs
GI Value For Sugar
GI Value For Vegetables
GI Value For Whole Grains


Carbs-Information.com provides general information about the glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), low GI diets, GI values for all food groups, health problems of high blood glucose including metabolic disorders such as pre-diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinism as well as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But no information is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Copyright 2003-2018.