Diabetes Basics

Discovery Of Insulin

Canadian surgeon, Frederick Banting had the vision on how to find not only the cause but a treatment for the so-called "sugar disease or sugar diabetes". Late in 19th century, scientists had the general conception that there was a connection between the pancreas and diabetes. In 1920, Banting realized that the pancreas' digestive juice was destroying the islets of 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. For further information, read Glucose And Insulin: The Diabetic Connection

In May, 1921, Banting with the help of an assistant, began his experiments. By August they had the first conclusive results: when they gave the material extracted from the islets of Langerhans to diabetic dogs, their abnormally high blood sugars were lowered. Further, it was experimented on humans with successful results. In 1923, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Banting. This is how discovery of insulin shaped human lives.

The discovery of insulin is one of the revolutionary moments in diabetes medicine. However, it took considerable time to find the perfect dosages for people of different age and to develop manufacturing processes to make enough insulin of consistent strength and purity. One year diabetes was an automatic death sentence. The next, people, even children had hopes of living full and productive lives even with the disease. Thus the discovery of insulin played the role of diabetes treatment player with aplomb. Type diabetes such as type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, juvenile diabetes can be treated and symptoms of diabetes can be improved with insulin.