diabetestalk.net

Why Was Insulin Invented?

The Tumultuous Discovery Of Insulin: Finally, Hidden Story Is Told

The Tumultuous Discovery Of Insulin: Finally, Hidden Story Is Told

TORONTO— The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto 60 years ago ranks with the greatest moments in the history of medicine. For the first time, diabetic men and women, many of whom were until then doomed to an ineffectual starvation diet followed by coma and death within a year or two, were offered a treatment that restored them, sometimes in just a few weeks, to rosy-cheeked health. But no comprehensive, accurate and detailed account of the course of events that led to so astonishing a leap forward in the treatment of disease has ever appeared - neither at Toronto nor anywhere else. Some relevant documents were ignored by scholars; others were suppressed by the University of Toronto to avoid embarrassment to surviving researchers. But with the death of the last principal in 1978, historical research could begin without impediment. Michael Bliss, a historian at the university, believes he has now pulled the story together from partial accounts, published and unpublished, and by delving into such hitherto unexplored resources as the Nobel Prize archives at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Professor Bliss's account, ''The Discovery of Insulin,'' to be published this month in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, and next month in this country by the University of Chicago Press, shows to an extent previously unmatched the full dimensions of the feuding and bickering, the jockeying for position and reward, the personal flaws and weaknesses, as well as strengths, of the all-too-human researchers whose achievement did so much for so many. As [email protected]@R. Macleod, one of the two men who shared a Nobel Prize for insulin in 1923, once said: ''If every discovery entails as much squabbling over priority, etc., as this one has, it will put the job of trying to make them o Continue reading >>

How Insulin Is Made - Material, Manufacture, History, Used, Parts, Components, Structure, Steps, Product

How Insulin Is Made - Material, Manufacture, History, Used, Parts, Components, Structure, Steps, Product

Background Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and is required for the body to function normally. Insulin is produced by cells in the pancreas, called the islets of Langerhans. These cells continuously release a small amount of insulin into the body, but they release surges of the hormone in response to a rise in the blood glucose level. Certain cells in the body change the food ingested into energy, or blood glucose, that cells can use. Every time a person eats, the blood glucose rises. Raised blood glucose triggers the cells in the islets of Langerhans to release the necessary amount of insulin. Insulin allows the blood glucose to be transported from the blood into the cells. Cells have an outer wall, called a membrane, that controls what enters and exits the cell. Researchers do not yet know exactly how insulin works, but they do know insulin binds to receptors on the cell's membrane. This activates a set of transport molecules so that glucose and proteins can enter the cell. The cells can then use the glucose as energy to carry out its functions. Once transported into the cell, the blood glucose level is returned to normal within hours. Without insulin, the blood glucose builds up in the blood and the cells are starved of their energy source. Some of the symptoms that may occur include fatigue, constant infections, blurred eye sight, numbness, tingling in the hands or legs, increased thirst, and slowed healing of bruises or cuts. The cells will begin to use fat, the energy source stored for emergencies. When this happens for too long a time the body produces ketones, chemicals produced by the liver. Ketones can poison and kill cells if they build up in the body over an extended period of time. This can lead to serious illne Continue reading >>

Who Was Sir Frederick Banting And How Did He Discover That Insulin Could Treat Diabetes?

Who Was Sir Frederick Banting And How Did He Discover That Insulin Could Treat Diabetes?

Millions of people around the world suffer from diabetes, but until the 1920s there was no treatment for it. Sir Frederick Banting was a Canadian scientist whose pioneering work using insulin to treat diabetes earned him the Nobel prize. He only lived to be 49 but on November 14 - what would have been his 125th birthday - Google has celebrated him with a commemorative Doodle. November 14 is also World Diabetes Day. How does insulin work? For your body to use glucose, the fuel that comes from carbohydrates, it must be transferred from the blood to your body’s cells to be used up as energy. The vital hormone that allows glucose to enter cells is called insulin and it is normally produced naturally in the pancreas. If this process doesn’t happen, the level of sugar in the blood becomes too high. Being unable to naturally produce insulin is the disease known as diabetes. More than 4 million people in the UK are diagnosed with it, and it is a major cause of kidney failure, heart attacks and blindness. Who was Sir Frederick Banting? Frederick Banting was born on November 14 1891 in Alliston, a settlement in the Canadian province of Ontario. He served in the First World War despite initially being refused while in medical school for poor eyesight since the army wanted more doctors on the front line. After the war, Sir Frederick had become deeply interested in diabetes and the pancreas, reading much of the work on the matter that had come before him. Scientists including Edward Schafer had speculated that diabetes was caused by a lack of a protein hormone produced in the pancreas, which Schafer had named insulin. Previous studies had noted that patients with diabetes had a damaged pancreas. How insulin came to treat humans Sir Frederick got to work on looking into the matte Continue reading >>

Insulin Injection Aids Diabetic Patient

Insulin Injection Aids Diabetic Patient

At Toronto General Hospital, 14-year-old Canadian Leonard Thompson becomes the first person to receive an insulin injection as treatment for diabetes. Diabetes has been recognized as a distinct medical condition for more than 3,000 years, but its exact cause was a mystery until the 20th century. By the early 1920s, many researchers strongly suspected that diabetes was caused by a malfunction in the digestive system related to the pancreas gland, a small organ that sits on top of the liver. At that time, the only way to treat the fatal disease was through a diet low in carbohydrates and sugar and high in fat and protein. Instead of dying shortly after diagnosis, this diet allowed diabetics to live–for about a year. A breakthrough came at the University of Toronto in the summer of 1921, when Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated insulin from canine test subjects, produced diabetic symptoms in the animals, and then began a program of insulin injections that returned the dogs to normalcy. On November 14, the discovery was announced to the world. Two months later, with the support of J.J.R. MacLeod of the University of Toronto, the two scientists began preparations for an insulin treatment of a human subject. Enlisting the aid of biochemist J.B. Collip, they were able to extract a reasonably pure formula of insulin from the pancreas of cattle from slaughterhouses and used it to treat Leonard Thompson. The diabetic teenager improved dramatically, and the University of Toronto immediately gave pharmaceutical companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties. By 1923, insulin had become widely available, saving countless lives around the world, and Banting and Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Continue reading >>

The Incredible History Of Insulin, A Drug That Was Discovered Almost A Century Ago

The Incredible History Of Insulin, A Drug That Was Discovered Almost A Century Ago

An insulin pump.Alden Chadwick/Flickr Diabetes, a group of conditions in which the body can't properly regulate blood sugar, affects roughly 30 million people in the US. And for many people living with diabetes — including the 1.25 million people in the US who have Type 1 diabetes — injecting insulin is part of the daily routine. Insulin, a hormone that healthy bodies produce, has been used to treat diabetes for almost a century, though it's gone through some modifications. In the past decade, the list prices of insulin have risen about 300%. This has drawn criticism from patients having to pay the high cost as well as from political figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders, who went after insulin drugmakers this month over their exorbitant prices. Here's the story of how the critical diabetes medicine became what it is today. Insulin is an integral part of the human body. It's a hormone that, in most people, is produced in the pancreas to help regulate our blood sugar levels. For those living with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't make any insulin, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise too high after a carbohydrate-rich meal, or fall dramatically unexpectedly. Back in the 1920s, researchers figured out that the pancreas was an important part of what was making diabetics so sick and got to work figuring out if they could make a treatment for them. Pictured here is an inflamed pancreas alongside the duodenum to its right, and the spleen to its left, in a rhesus monkey. Dr. Frederick Banting, a Toronto-based surgeon, along with medical student Charles Best, started by testing out what happens when you remove a dog's pancreas. When they did, the dog developed diabetes. Next, they found that if you inject insulin back into the dog, it went back to normal. Dr. Fre Continue reading >>

Who Was Sir Frederick Banting? Google Doodle Celebrates Scientist Who Used Insulin To Treat Diabetes For The First Time

Who Was Sir Frederick Banting? Google Doodle Celebrates Scientist Who Used Insulin To Treat Diabetes For The First Time

Today's Google doodle has been created in honour of Sir Frederick Banting , a Canadian scientist who was the first person to use insulin on humans as a treatment for diabetes. His work earned him the Nobel prize and today would have been his 125th birthday. Although diabetes has been affecting humans for years, there was no treatment for it until Banting's work in the 1920s. Insulin is the hormone naturally secreted by the pancreas that helps glucose from carbohydrates enter our cells and provide energy. Diabetes prevents this process from happening and, without it, blood sugar levels become too high. Around four million people in the UK suffer from diabetes and it can lead do death from kidney failure or heart disease. Sir Frederick's work After serving as a doctor in the First World War, Sir Frederick became interested in diabetes and the workings of the pancreas. In 1921 he worked on test dogs at the University of Toronto. In one case, he removed a dog's pancreas and ground it up to form an injection. When the dog suffered from diabetes, the injections kept it healthy. He made the connection with the importance of insulin and, the next year, treated the first diabetic person with the injection. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work which would help save millions of lives. Sir Frederick Banting died in 1941 at the age of 49 from injuries sustained in a plane crash. During a transatlantic flight, his plane lost power in both engines and crashed - he died in hospital the next day. These days, insulin is produced in laboratories from bacteria. The World Health Organisation reports that 422 million people around the world suffered from diabetes in 2014. The organisation predicts that it will be the seventh leading cause of death by Continue reading >>

The True Inventor Of Insulin – Nicolae Paulescu

The True Inventor Of Insulin – Nicolae Paulescu

Without the work of Nicolae Paulescu the history of medicine would probably have a different course, particularly the history of diabetic medicine. The distinguished Romanian scientist was the first to discover insulin (which he called pancreine). In 1916 Paulescu developed an aqueous pancreatic extract which normalized the blood sugar levels in a diabetic dog. He had to interrupt his experiments during the World War I till 1921 when he wrote an extensive whitepaper on the effect of the pancreatic extract injected into a diabetic animal: Research on the Role of the Pancreas in Food Assimilation. The paper was published in August 1921 in the Archives Internationales de Physiologie. His discovery was patented on April 10, 1922 by the Romanian Ministry of Industry and Trade – patent no. 6254. And the Nobel Prize Goes to… In 1923 two other scientists were to be recognized as the creators of insulin: doctor Frederick Grant Banting and biochemist John James Richard Macleod. Curiously enough, in 1921 Banting started performing the experiments that led to the “discovery of insulin” on dogs, inspired by the early works of Polish-German physician Oscar Minkowski who in 1889 removed the pancreas from a healthy dog to test its assumed role in digestion. If you go back at the beginning of the article you will note that Paulescu was successfully performing the same type of experiments in 1916. By the time Banting isolated insulin, Paulescu already held a patent for its discovery. Moreover, Banting was familiar with Paulescu’s work. He even uses Paulescu’s “Research on the Role of the Pancreas in Food Assimilation” as reference in the paper that brought him the Nobel, although he misquotes: He states that injections into peripheral veins produce no effect and his exper Continue reading >>

Who Really Discovered Insulin?

Who Really Discovered Insulin?

For people with diabetes mellitus, the year 1921 is a meaningful one. That was the year Canadian physician Frederick Banting and medical student Charles H. Best discovered the hormone insulin in pancreatic extracts of dogs. On July 30, 1921, they injected the hormone into a diabetic dog and found that it effectively lowered the dog’s blood glucose levels to normal. By the end of that year, with the help of Canadian chemist James B. Collip and Scottish physiologist J.J.R. Macleod, Banting and Best purified insulin, and the next year it was used to successfully treat a boy suffering from severe diabetes. The researchers were celebrated and honored for their breakthrough. Banting and MacLeod even shared the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for their work. Indeed, they were the “discoverers” of insulin. But the story of the discovery of insulin actually begins much earlier than 1921. According to Britannica’s pharmaceutical industry article: In 1869 Paul Langerhans, a medical student in Germany, was studying the histology of the pancreas. He noted that this organ has two distinct types of cells—acinar cells, now known to secrete digestive enzymes, and islet cells (now called islets of Langerhans). The function of islet cells was suggested in 1889 when German physiologist and pathologist Oskar Minkowski and German physician Joseph von Mering showed that removing the pancreas from a dog caused the animal to exhibit a disorder quite similar to human diabetes mellitus (elevated blood glucose and metabolic changes). After this discovery, a number of scientists in various parts of the world attempted to extract the active substance from the pancreas so that it could be used to treat diabetes. One of those scientists was Romanian physiologist Nicolas C. Paule Continue reading >>

The Discovery Of Insulin: The Work Of Frederick Banting And Charles Best

The Discovery Of Insulin: The Work Of Frederick Banting And Charles Best

The Preparation of Insulin (Best, C. H., and Scott, D. A. (1923) J. Biol. Chem. 57, 709–723) The story of the discovery of insulin has been well chronicled beginning with a young physician, Frederick Banting, in London, Ontario, imagining that it might be possible to isolate the internal secretions of the pancreas by ligating the pancreatic ducts to induce atrophy of the acinar cells and thereby minimize contamination of the tissue extract with digestive enzymes. Banting presented his suggestion to J. J. R. Macleod, a distinguished physiologist at the University of Toronto who provided Banting with a laboratory for the summer and some dogs for the experiments. Macleod also assigned Charles Best, a young student, to work as Banting's assistant for the summer. During the summer of 1921, Banting and Best made remarkable progress, and by fall they had isolated material from pancreas extracts that dramatically prolonged the lives of dogs made diabetic by removal of the pancreas. In the winter of 1922, Banting and Best treated their first human patient, a young boy, who's life was saved by the treatment. This was a stunning accomplishment. Consider that from the start of the research in the summer of 1921 to treating a human patient successfully in the winter of 1922, the pace, especially by current standards for clinical treatments, was remarkable. With that achievement, Macleod, who had been initially unenthusiastic about the work, assigned his entire laboratory to the insulin project. He also enlisted the Eli Lilly Company to aid in the large scale, commercial preparation of insulin although the University of Toronto received the patent for insulin production. By 1923, insulin was available in quantities adequate for relatively widespread treatment of diabetes. Although Continue reading >>

Frederick Banting: Five Facts You Might Know About The Man Who Co-discovered Insulin

Frederick Banting: Five Facts You Might Know About The Man Who Co-discovered Insulin

Sir Frederick Banting, the scientist who co-discovered insulin as a treatment for diabetes, is being celebrated by Google on what would have been his 125th birthday. The Canadian scientist, along with his colleague Dr Charles Best, spent years experimenting with ways to extract insulin from the pancreas, which had previously been thought to be an impossible task. In 1921, the pair extracted the first anti-diabetic substance and in 1922 a diabetic teenager called Leonard Thompson became the first person to receive an insulin injection as a treatment for Type 1 diabetes. Until insulin was made clinically available, Type 1 diabetes was a death sentence, with many sufferers dying from the condition within weeks. In 1923, Sir Frederick was awarded the Noble Prize in Medicine for the discovery and was knighted by King George V in 1934. Here are five facts you may not know about the revolutionary scientist : 1) The youngest Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine Sir Frederick was 32-years old when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery, making him the youngest Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine to date. He was jointly awarded the accolade with J J R Macleod, Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto, who Sir Frederick initially approached with his theories about the pancreas and who provided experimental facilities and the assistance of one of his students - Dr Best. Sir Fredrick is understood to have been deeply unhappy upon hearing he would share the prize with Dr Macleod, who he felt had not contributed to the discovery enough to deserve the award. He decided to split the prize money with Dr Best. 2) A war hero Before Sir Frederick began saving lives with insulin, he served in the Canadian Army Medical Service during the First World War . Despit Continue reading >>

Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, And John Macleod

Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, And John Macleod

In the early 1920s Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin under the directorship of John Macleod at the University of Toronto. With the help of James Collip insulin was purified, making it available for the successful treatment of diabetes. Banting and Macleod earned a Nobel Prize for their work in 1923. At the turn of the 20th century a strict low-calorie, no-carbohydrate diet was the only effective treatment for diabetes. But this method, with food intake sometimes as low as 500 calories per day, had its consequences, as slow starvation, like diabetes, drained patients of their strength and energy, leaving them semi-invalids. The diet treatment also required an inordinate amount of willpower on the part of the patient, very few of whom were able to maintain low-calorie diets over the long term. In 1921 researchers at the University of Toronto began a series of experiments that would ultimately lead to the isolation and commercial production of insulin—a pancreatic hormone essential for metabolizing carbohydrates—and the successful treatment of diabetes. Setting the Stage for the Discovery of Insulin The connection between pancreatic secretions and diabetes was first shown in 1889 by two German physiologists at the University of Strasbourg, Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering. While investigating the effect of pancreatic secretions on the metabolism of fat, they performed a complete pancreatectomy on a laboratory dog, only to discover that the animal developed a disease indistinguishable from diabetes. Twenty years earlier a German medical student, Paul Langerhans, had discovered two systems of cells in the pancreas: the acini, which he knew produced the pancreatic digestive secretions, and another system whose function was unknown to him. These ce Continue reading >>

Insulin - A Life-saving Discovery

Insulin - A Life-saving Discovery

In the early 20th century, people who had diabetes would usually die within a few years following their diagnosis. Dr. Frederick Banting - a young Canadian physician with not much of a medical practice and hardly any experience at all - wanted to change that pattern. Worried about his own future, and his lack of patients, Banting had an idea during the middle of the night. While he was working-up a lecture he'd been asked to give, the twenty-eight-year-old doctor wrote these misspelled words on a piece of paper: Diabetus. Ligate pancreatic ducts of dog. Keep dogs alive till acini degenerate leaving Islets. Try to isolate the internal secretion of these to relieve glucosurea. (Banting's note, written on 31 October 1920, quoted by Stephen Eaton Hume in Frederick Banting: Hero, Healer, Artist at page 8.) Banting's intuition would soon lead to a monumental medical breakthrough. Expanding on the work of earlier scientists, the young doctor believed he might have discovered a way which could also treat - not just diagnose - the "sugar disease." He shared his thoughts with Dr. John J.R. Macleod (then head of physiology at the University of Toronto). On the 8th of March, 1921, Banting asked Macleod for lab space to further research his idea. What prior research had led Banting to his breakthrough? We learn the answer to that question from "A Science Odyssey," at PBS: Late in the nineteenth century, scientists had realized there was a connection between the pancreas and diabetes. The connection was further narrowed down to the islets of Langerhans, a part of the pancreas. From 1910 to 1920, Oscar Minkowski and others tried unsuccessfully to find and extract the active ingredient from the islets of Langerhans. While reading a paper on the subject in 1920, Banting had an inspirati Continue reading >>

Google Doodle Celebrates Inventor Of Insulin

Google Doodle Celebrates Inventor Of Insulin

Everyone raise a glass of chocolate milk! Today's Google Doodle honors Frederick Banting, the doctor who first found a way to give insulin to patients with diabetes, nearly 100 years ago. Insulin is the hormone that tells cells to let in sugar from the blood, allowing the body to use energy from food as fuel. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or have body cells that don't respond well to insulin (Type 2 diabetes). Banting's work, which has saved the lives of millions of people with diabetes, garnered the Canadian doctor the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923. Today would have been Banting's 125th birthday. [Top 5 Nobel Prize Goof-Ups] Insulin is made by the pancreas, which Banting began researching in 1920 as a captain in the Canadian army. At the time, researchers suspected that diabetes resulted from a deficiency in some hormone that came from certain clusters of cells in the pancreas, but they didn't know exactly how to extract that hormone. People were already calling the hormone insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association. Banting believed he could extract this substance, and began his first experiments with dogs. The experiments involved closing off a duct in the dogs' pancreases, and then extracting insulin from those ducts. "Intravenous injections of extract from dog's pancreas, removed from seven to 10 weeks after ligation of the ducts, invariably exercises a reducing influence upon the percentage sugar of the blood and the amount of sugar excreted in the urine ... the extent and duration of the reduction varies directly with the amount of extract injected," Banting and his colleague Dr. C. Herbert Best wrote in a 1922 paper published in the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. Eventually, Banting reali Continue reading >>

The Man Who Discovered Insulin – And Gave It To The World For Free

The Man Who Discovered Insulin – And Gave It To The World For Free

In 1923, Frederick Banting and his team won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of insulin. Before then, the only way for people with type 1 diabetes to control their blood glucose was on a “starvation diet,” which is exactly what it sounds like. In 2004, Banting was voted the fourth greatest ever Canadian. In 1989, the Queen Mother lit a flame of hope as a tribute to Frederick Banting and the people who have died as a result of diabetes. When a cure for type 1 diabetes has been discovered, the researchers who find it will have the honor of extinguishing the flame. It wasn’t just the discovery of insulin that has made Banting so revered – it’s his character. When the Nobel Prize was awarded only to him and his associated John MacLeod, he was furious that the contributions of the other members of his team had not been recognised. Both Banting and MacLeod shared their prize money with others who had worked on the discovery. Discovering insulin could have made Banting very rich, but he decided to give the patent away for free. He wanted insulin to be available to everyone, not held out of reach at exorbitant prices. In Banting’s honor, World Diabetes Day is held every year on November 14 – Banting’s birthday. On that day, there are campaigns to raise awareness of diabetes all over the world. Whether online or offline, there are plenty of ways you can get involved. Blue is the color of World Diabetes Day, and healthy eating is the theme. People with diabetes – people everywhere, for that matter – are encouraged to include plenty of leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and nuts. There’s also an emphasis on teaching children to follow a healthy diet from a young age. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has compiled Continue reading >>

History Of Diabetes: How Insulin Almost Wasn't Discovered

History Of Diabetes: How Insulin Almost Wasn't Discovered

The experiment that led to the initial discovery of insulin—the hormone manufactured in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood—almost didn’t happen. For years scientists has suspected that the secret to controlling elevated levels of glucose—lay in the inner reaches of the pancreas. And when, in 1920, a Canadian surgeon named Frederick Banting approached the head of the University of Toronto’s physiology department with an idea about finding that secret, he was initially rebuffed. Banting suspected a mysterious hormone was being produced in a section of the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans. He theorized that the hormone was getting destroyed by the pancreas’ digestive juices. If he could shut down the pancreas but keep the islets of Langerhans working, he might find the missing substance. Fortunately, Banting’s persuasive powers prevailed and department head John McLeod gave him lab space, 10 Langerhans hormone before it could be isolated. If he could stop the pancreas from working, but keep the islets of Langerhans going, he should be able to find the stuff! experimental dogs, and a medical student assistant named Charles Best. By August of 1921, Banting and Best succeeded in extracting hormones from the islets of Langerhans—which they called insulin after the Latin word for island. When they injected the insulin into dogs with high blood sugar levels, those levels dropped quickly. With McLeod now taking interest, the men worked quickly to duplicate the results and then set about running a test on a human subject, 14-year-old Leonard Thompson, who saw his blood sugar levels lower and his urine cleared of sugars. The team published there findings in 1923 and Banting and McLeod were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine (Ban Continue reading >>

More in insulin