HomeExclusiveWhat Is Insulin Made...

What Is Insulin Made Out Of

What Is The Cost Of Insulin With Insurance

Inside The Factory Where Most Of The Worlds Insulin Is Made

The American Diabetes Association Insulin Access and Affordability Working Group report found that nearly half of Americans have employer-sponsored health insurance. About 20% are insured through Medicaid, and 14% are insured through Medicare. Approximately 7% of Americans purchase health insurance on their own. About 9% of Americans remain uninsured.

Diabetes is considered a pre-existing condition, which is a condition you have prior to applying for health insurance. According to research, about 1.9 million people with diabetes who didn’t have insurance gained coverage after the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2010.

Still, having insurance doesn’t mean insulin is affordable. Insured patients will often pay a copay or a percentage, rather than the list price, for their insulin. Redmond says that cost could range from $30 to $50.

In cases of high-deductible health plans, patients have to pay the list price for their insulin until their deductible is met. This could mean thousands of dollars out of pocket. Many patients just have a problem paying that much, says Redmond.

Can I Have A Negative Reaction To Insulin

One complication facing people with diabetes who use insulin is the potential for severe hypoglycemia, also known as insulin shock, which involves using too much insulin and causing your blood sugar to drop extremely low. This can cause coma, seizures, and heart attacks, says Dr. Powers. It requires treatment in a hospital but thankfully is highly treatable once you are there.

The History Of A Wonderful Thing We Call Insulin

Since the dawn of time, we have searched for ways to make life easier for us. The modern age has given us some amazing technological advanceswhat we would do without the internet, our iPhones or high-speed travel?

For many people, surviving life without these things sounds rough. However, if you have diabetes, no doubt youre also a big fan of one particular 20th-century discovery: insulin.

Before insulin was discovered in 1921, people with diabetes didnt live for long there wasnt much doctors could do for them. The most effective treatment was to put patients with diabetes on very strict diets with minimal carbohydrate intake. This could buy patients a few extra years but couldnt save them. Harsh diets sometimes even caused patients to die of starvation.

So how did this wonderful breakthrough blossom? Lets travel back a little more than 100 years ago.

In 1889, two German researchers, Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering, found that when the pancreas gland was removed from dogs, the animals developed symptoms of diabetes and died soon afterward. This led to the idea that the pancreas was the site where pancreatic substances were produced.

Later experimenters narrowed this search to the islets of Langerhans . In 1910, Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Shafer suggested only one chemical was missing from the pancreas in people with diabetes. He decided to call this chemical insulin, which comes for the Latin word insula, meaning island.

Last reviewed: August 31, 2020

Read Also: Which Continuous Glucose Monitor Is Best

Human Umbilical Cord Blood

MSCs from umbilical cord blood and unrestricted somatic stem cells from hUCB can develop into iPSCs with the same cell markers and characteristics as MAPCs 117. After incubation in a medium supplied with no particular cytokines or growth factors besides fetal calf serum, UCB cells express genes necessary for differentiation into pancreatic endocrine tissue, including Isl1, PDX1, Pax4, and Ngn3113. In vitro and in vivo, insulin and the C-peptide were released by iPSCs generated from UCB-MSCs in response to a glucose challenge. After intravenous injection of hUCB-MSCs into 25 NOD type 1 diabetic mice with insulitis, glycemic profiles improved along with histological improvements in the islets118. UCB-MSCs are widely accessible, have minimal risk of immunological rejection, and show improved capabilities for growth and differentiation into iPSCs, making them a viable choice for the treatment of diabetes.

The Link Between The Gut And The Pancreas

Insulin molecule

Insulin is produced in higher amounts when sugar passes through the gut compared to when glucose is injected into the veins . This is because when sugar enters the gut, messages are sent from the gut to the pancreas to produce more insulin. These messages are chemicals called peptides. The best known gut peptide controlling insulin is called GLP1 . GLP1 speaks to the pancreas after glucose enters the gut, telling it to produce insulin at the right time. It is now known that in type 2 diabetes, GLP1 levels are too low, which is partly why blood sugar levels go too high after a meal . There are now many medicines that increase GLP1 levels to control post-prandial hyperglycaemia which are therefore good treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Last reviewed: May 2021

Also Check: Does White Vinegar Lower Blood Sugar

Transgenic Plants As Host For Insulin Production

Transgenic plants have been utilized to produce recombinant proteins because of their advantage of cost effectiveness, high quality protein processing, absence of human pathogens, ease of production and presence of eukaryotic machinery for posttranslational modifications. Initially, the human growth hormone was the recombinant protein product extracted from transgenic tobacco plant . After that, numerous different products have developed from plants such as Hepatitis-B-Virus surface antigen, antibodies, industrial proteins and milk proteins.

Combination With Other Antidiabetic Drugs

A combination therapy of insulin and other antidiabetic drugs appears to be most beneficial in people who are diabetic, who still have residual insulin secretory capacity. A combination of insulin therapy and sulfonylurea is more effective than insulin alone in treating people with type 2 diabetes after secondary failure to oral drugs, leading to better glucose profiles and/or decreased insulin needs.

You May Like: How Many Units Of Insulin Is Normal

Trending Now: Infectious Disease Board Recommends Hospitals Stop Screening Asymptomatic Patients For Covid

Insulin has come a long way since 1922. People with diabetes are no longer using preparations derived from animals. We have new insulins that can closely mimic natural physiological conditions, and which are safer than the older agents. But to get to this place, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested billions of dollars in research and development. And they patented these medicines.

Im not offering a whirlwind tour of the history of the last 100 years of insulin research and development to justify the cost of these new drugs, nor to shine a light on the drug pricing differences in the U.S. versus Canada and other Western nations. Instead, I think its important to make clear that the insulin used in 1922 is not the same things thats in the crosshairs of industry critics. It is also meant to correct the misleading headlines that imply that the biopharmaceutical industrys practices are the cause of rationing a lifesaving medication discovered in the 1920s. Thats just not true.

It should be noted that Walmart sells Novolin, a human insulin made by Novo Nordisk, for a mere $25 per vial and you dont need a prescription for it. Novolin can be viewed like a generic in that its an older version of human insulin that does not afford the benefits of the newer insulin analogs in terms of 24-hour control, but is 10 times less costly.

Detection In Biological Fluids

What Is Insulin? Dr. Berg

Insulin is often measured in serum, plasma or blood in order to monitor therapy in people who are diabetic, confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized persons or assist in a medicolegal investigation of suspicious death. Interpretation of the resulting insulin concentrations is complex, given the numerous types of insulin available, various routes of administration, the presence of anti-insulin antibodies in insulin-dependent diabetics and the ex vivo instability of the drug. Other potential confounding factors include the wide-ranging cross-reactivity of commercial insulin immunoassays for the biosynthetic insulin analogs, the use of high-dose intravenous insulin as an antidote to antihypertensive drug overdosage and postmortem redistribution of insulin within the body. The use of a chromatographic technique for insulin assay may be preferable to immunoassay in some circumstances, to avoid the issue of cross-reactivity affecting the quantitative result and also to assist identifying the specific type of insulin in the specimen.

Read Also: How To Prevent Low Blood Sugar Overnight

E Coli Expression System For Production Of Insulin

E. coli is a preferred microorganism for large-scale production of recombinant proteins. However, several disadvantages limit its use for production of recombinant biopharmaceuticals. Various post-translational modifications such as glycosylation, phosphorylation, proteolytic processing and formations of disulfide bonds which are very crucial for biological activity, do not occur in E. coli . N-linked glycosylation is the most common posttranslational modification of proteins in eukaryotes. It has been discovered that the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni possess the capability to glycosylate the proteins and it was also shown that a functionally active N-glycosylation pathway could be transferred to E. coli . Although the structure of bacterial N-glycan is different from that observed in eukaryotes, engineering of Campylobacter N-linked glycosylation pathway into E. coli, provides an opportunity to express heterologous proteins in glycosylated form in E. coli. Expression of Pglb oligosaccharyltransferase or from C. jejuni in E. coli showed a significant increase in glycopepetide yield . Recently efforts has been made to produce glycosylated proteins with substrates other than native and non-native to E. coli and C.jejuni .

How Insulin Is Made Using Bacteria

Synthetic human insulin was the first golden molecule of the biotech industry and the direct result of recombinant DNA technology. Currently, millions of diabetics worldwide use synthetic insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. Synthetic insulin is made in both bacteria and yeast.

recombinant dna technology,blood sugar levels,human insulin,biotech industry,diabetics,molecule,bacteria,yeast

Synthetic human insulin was the first golden molecule of the biotech industry and the direct result of recombinant DNA technology. Currently, millions of diabetics worldwide use synthetic insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels.

Genentech, the first biotechnology company, established in 1976.

Charles Best and Frederick Banting discovered insulin, 1928.

Walter Gilbert talks about the reasons for making insulin with recombinant DNA.

Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio

Herb Boyer and Stan Cohen “invented” recombinant DNA technology.

Walter Gilbert talks about his group’s early success with isolating the rat insulin gene and making recombinant rat insulin.

Recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to test gene function in bacteria or cell cultures rather than animal models.

Don’t Miss: Can Dehydration Cause Low Blood Sugar

Q5 Why Has The Availability Of Animal

A5) With advances in recombinant and biosynthetic human insulin products, manufacturers have focussed on the production and sales of recombinant or biosynthetic human insulin. Thus, the use of animal insulin has declined. In addition, the production of animal-sourced insulin has become globally more complex as a result of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy / Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy issues related to the raw animal tissues used to make animal-sourced insulin.

Although the majority of patients with diabetes now use biosynthetic human insulin or insulin analogues, there remain a small number of patients with diabetes who cannot manage their disease with biosynthetic insulin and are concerned over the availability of animal-sourced insulin for the future.

Q3 What Is Health Canada’s Position On Animal

And the plant goes " moo"  ?

A3) Health Canada is aware that the availability of animal-sourced insulin has become a rising area of concern for some Canadian patients with diabetes. Health Canada is also aware of the limited sources for animal insulin. However, while Health Canada does not have the authority to require a manufacturer to make or sell any particular product, HC has, in the past and continues to work with manufacturers and stakeholders, within the limits of its mandate, to support the availability of animal-sourced insulin in Canada.

You May Like: Type 1 Diabetes Low Carb Diet

Tips For Insulin Devices

Each insulin device is different. This page lists some basic tips about insulin devices. Talk to your health care provider to learn everything you should know about your insulin device.

General Tips

  • Never share insulin needles or devices.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse to show you how to inject your insulin.
  • Always wash your hands before you inject your insulin.
  • Do not inject your insulin in the exact same spot on your body each time.
  • The skin may get thick or thin if you use the same spot.
  • Inject in the same general area of your body.
  • Do not use your insulin if it looks cloudy or looks like something is floating in it. Take it back to the drug store for a new one.
  • Do not use insulin needles , pens, and injectors after the expiration date printed on the label or on the box.
  • How to Throw Away Used Devices

    • Follow the directions on when to throw away the needles, pens or injectors.
    • You should throw away your used needles in a hard container like an empty laundry detergent bottle or a metal coffee can.
    • Make sure the needles cannot poke through the container.
    • Put a label on the container to warn people that it is dangerous.
    • Keep the container where children cannot get to it.
    • Always put a lid or top on the container.

    You Can Control Your Diabetes

    Nutrient Fast Vs Caloric Fast

    What if you could get some of the benefits of fasting, including lowering insulin and improving insulin sensitivity, without actually fasting? Bikman says this may be technically possible with the right kind of diet.

    “Science shows us that if insulin is high, the body is in the ‘fed’ state and is storing body fat, and if insulin is low, the body is in the ‘fasted’ state and is burning body fat,” said Bikman. “Accordingly, if we use a true fast, which is the avoidance of all calories , to keep insulin low, then a way to mimic that state is by eating the nutrientsprotein and healthy fatthat also keep insulin low .”

    Bikman shares that with insulin as the focus, viewing the right nutrients as a form of fasting has real merit. For example, when someone is eating a Standard American Diet which is high in carbohydrates, insulin will be consistently elevated, driving fat storage in the body, slowing metabolic rate, and inhibiting autophagy .

    “With a nutrient fast that avoids carbohydrates in favor of protein and healthy fat, insulin stays low and the body burns more fat, increases metabolic rate, and activates autophagy,” said Bikman.

    You May Like: Kidney Health Evaluation For Patients With Diabetes

    How Is Insulin Made By Biotechnology

    In 2019, approximately 463 million adults were living with diabetes and this number is set to rise in the future, as the International Diabetes Federation reports.

    If it wasnt for insulin, these people wouldnt be able to live. The discovery and development of synthetic insulin has helped to change the lives of millions of people with diabetes, a health condition in which the body doesnt process food correctly so that it can be used as energy.

    What, exactly, is synthetic insulin?

    Synthetic insulin is one of the most amazing biotechnology achievements that makes use of bacteria and genetic engineering.

    With that in mind, lets explore how insulin is made in a lab. Well start by looking at how insulin was discovered as something that could be made by humans to save lives, and how its being developed.


    Hanie Redmond Pharmd Cde Bc

    Where is Insulin Produced in our Body?

    Without a doubt, insulin is lifesaving, and just a day or so without it will require hospitalization and could lead to death for those patients.

    If someone has type 1 diabetes or if someone has had damage to their pancreas, these are instances where their body doesnt produce any insulin, Stephanie Redmond, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, founder of Diabetes Doctor, tells Verywell. Without a doubt, insulin is lifesaving, and just a day or so without it will require hospitalization and could lead to death for those patients.

    Recommended Reading: Are Insulin Pumps Used For Type 2 Diabetes

    The History Of Insulin

    The history of insulin goes back to the 19th century, when in 1889 German researchers Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering discovered that when the pancreas was removed from dogs, these animals experienced diabetes that killed them.

    This caused them to research and discover the idea that the pancreas was the organ that produced insulin.It was after some time that researchers fine-tuned this discovery by saying that clusters of specialized cells in the pancreas were responsible for insulin.

    Then, in 1910, Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Shafer found that just one chemical was not present in the pancreas in people who were suffering from diabetes. He was the one who named it, calling it insulin for the first time. Insulin comes from the Latin word insula, which means island.

    It took more research on animals to take this research further. In 1921, surgeon Frederick Banting and his assistant found a way to remove insulin from a dogs pancreas. They used it to treat a dog who had severe diabetes and they managed to help him survive for 70 days.

    When they ran out of the substance, the dog died. These researchers teamed up with other colleagues to develop a purer type of insulin, and this time it was drawn from cattle pancreases.

    Human Insulin And Insulin Analogs

    Until the

    Human insulin is available in two forms:

    • a regular or short-acting form
    • an intermediate-acting form called neural protamine Hagedorn insulin.

    Regular human insulin takes action within 15 to 30 minutes and peaks in 1 to 3 hours. The more you take, the quicker it starts working.

    A fish protein called protamine or zinc is added to NPH insulin to slow its absorption. NPH insulin takes effect about 2 hours after injection and reaches its maximum effect after about 4 to 6 hours.

    Nowadays, insulin analogs are also used to treat diabetes. Insulin analogs are made in the same way as human insulin but are genetically altered to change the way they act in your body.

    Insulin analogs have a different chemical structure and lower your blood sugar

    Pens and syringes are both injected under your skin with a small needle. The needle in pens tends to be smaller than the needle in syringes. Some pens use cartridges that you insert into the pen manually while others are prefilled and thrown away when empty.

    Insulin pumps deliver insulin through a tube placed into the fatty layer under your skin, usually around your stomach or the back of your upper arm.

    Never reuse syringes, needles, or pens. Its also important not to share them with other people. Doing so can increase your risk of contracting or transmitting a blood-borne illness such as hepatitis or HIV.

    still debate on whether insulin analogs offer significant benefits.

    Also Check: A1c Chart To Average Blood Sugar

    - A word from our sponsors -

    Most Popular

    More from Author

    - A word from our sponsors -

    Read Now

    Normal Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy

    See A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy If you dont already see a dietitian, you should start seeing one before you get pregnant. Your dietitian can...

    Does White Vinegar Lower Blood Sugar

    Does Apple Cider Vinegar Lower Blood Sugar Doctor talks about "Does Vinegar help lower Blood Sugar Spikes for People with Diabetes?" Can swallowing ACV really help you lower your...

    Glucose Test For Pregnancy Fasting

    When Should I Measure My Blood Glucose Fasting and Blood Glucose | Jason Fung Throughout the rest of your pregnancy, you will need to measure your blood glucose levels...

    How Much Insulin Do I Need

    How Do I Calculate How Much Insulin To Take Using Sliding Scale to Determine Insulin Dose In people who do not have diabetes, their bodies release insulin in response...

    Diabetes Drug For Weight Loss Semaglutide

    No Quick Fixes For Obesity Diabetes Drug Ozempic Trends On TikTok As Weight-Loss Drug According to Dr. Kabbara, Being overweight or obese puts us at a greater risk to...

    Names Of Short Acting Insulin

    Factors That Speed Insulin Absorption Short Acting Insulin Mnemonic for NCLEX | Nursing Pharmacology Variation in insulin absorption can cause changes in blood glucose levels. Insulin absorption is increased...

    Is Type One Diabetes Curable

    Eating A Healthy Balanced Diet How There Could Finally Be A Cure For Diabetes What you eat can make a difference to how you feel and how you manage...

    Normal Blood Sugar Range For Type 2 Diabetes

    What Causes Low Blood Sugar Blood Sugar Levels Chart | Includes fasting and after eating Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin,...

    How To Make Your Own Insulin

    What Does The System Do Why Diabetics Are Making Homemade Insulin When you build the system, all of which is free to download with instructions available online, you will...

    Insulin/dextrose For Hyperkalemia Protocol

    Severity & Risk Stratification Treating Hyperkalemia - Avoid Additional Harm When Using Insulin and Dextrose The first step of treatment requires determining whether hyperkalemia is life-threatening . No evidence-based...

    How To Lower Blood Glucose Quickly

    General Tips On How To Keep You Blood Sugar Levels In Control How to Lower Blood Sugar Fast You should eat foods that...

    Epidemiology Of Type 1 Diabetes

    Open Access License / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes is Not Increasing This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License ....