Insulin: Synthetic Human and Animal Insulins
Types of Commercial Insulin Medications, Treatment for Diabetes

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Animal & Synthetic Insulin Drug Medications

Insulin from Animals

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, is essential for regulation of blood glucose. A type 1 diabetes patient (whose pancreas no longer produces sufficient insulin) needs insulin injections to survive. Here's a brief summary of the basic types of insulin medication.

In the beginning, insulin medications were made from insulin obtained from cows, pigs or salmon. This animal insulin worked quite satisfactorily for many diabetic patients, but tiny impurities in the insulin caused immune reactions in the blood and skin.

Synthetic Human Insulin

In 1978, using recombinant DNA techniques, scientists synthesized human insulin from the E coli bacteria. Eli Lily marketed the first human insulin, called Humulin, in 1982. Almost all insulin is now human insulin, and within a few years all commercial insulin will be made from human, rather than animal, sources. In fact, "human insulin" does not come from human beings - rather, it is "synthetic insulin" manufactured from DNA sources, in a laboratory. This synthetic insulin is almost identical to the hormone produced by the human pancreas.

Synthetic Human Insulin Better Than Animal Insulin

Synthetic human insulin is regarded as superior to (say) beef or pork insulin, as it is absorbed more rapidly, and has a shorter more manageable duration of effectiveness. Synthetic human insulin also causes fewer allergic or autoimmune reactions than the insulin hormone extracted from the pancreas of animals. Also, human insulin is usually less expensive.

Different Types of Insulin Medication

There are several differing types of insulin medication available for diabetes patients. These types of insulin vary according to (1) how long they take to reach the bloodstream and start reducing blood glucose levels; (2) how long the insulin operates at maximum strength; and (3) how long the insulin continues to have an effect on blood sugar. Your doctor or diabetes counselor is the best person to advise you which type of insulin medication is likely to suit your individual diabetic condition.

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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.