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1571464801 fc86f308e0.jpg
Systematic name Recombinant Human Insulin
Other names Humalog/Lispro
Molecular formula C256H381N65O79S6
SMILES Sucrose
Molar mass Molar mass::6000 g/mol
CAS number CAS number::9004-10-8

Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar metabolism, which is perhaps best known as a successful drug against diabetes. In the pancreas, cells called islet cells secrete the insulin. The pancreas is the organ that sits beneath the stomach. After digestion, the small intestine absorbs the carbohydrates in the blood.[1]

Insulin use is not advised if you have liver or kidney disease. Diabetes itself is a relatively taskless ailment. The only aspect of Diabetes treatment that requires constant physical maintenance. Your diet, exercise, weight control, foot health, eye care, dental care, and monitoring your blood sugar. Always follow the doctors instruction very closely. [2]


The main function of Insulin is to regulate a person's glucose metabolism. [3] It maintains low blood glucose levels by countering the number of hyperglycemia-generating hormones. [4] It regulates your metabolism by regulating the liver tissues. adipose tissues, and skeletal tissues. It is also suggested that insulin affects neural tissues and metabolism, synapse activity, and even feeding behaviours. It effects neuronal development, differentiation, and growth as well. [5] Also, Insulin effects transcription by changing the content of many mRNAs, promotes DNA synthesis, and cell replication. It binds to tyrosine kinase receptors in the plasma membrane of its target cells. This stimulates the synthesis of glycogen by making a pathway that dephosphorylates glycogen synthase. [6] Dephosphorylation is defined as, "the removal of a phosphate group from an organic compound, as in the changing of ATP to ADP." [7] This also dephosphorylizes the enzyme Phosphorylase Kinase, which is needed to breakdown glucose. Insulin will also increase protein synthesis in the muscle, particularly in the liver. It aids glucose catabolism (the breaking down in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones) and its conversion to glycogen and stops its synthesis from more simple compounds. [8]

Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Insulin Resistance Syndrome (also called Syndrome X) is a condition where muscle cells don't respond to insulin and are no longer able to receive glucose. This causes the pancreas to excrete more insulin, which results in an excess of insulin circulating the blood stream. More, stronger food cravings may also occur. It is a lessened ability to use insulin to transport glucose into the bodies cells where it is needed for energy production. Diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease are all linked to Insulin Resistance Syndrome. In order to maintain a normal blood-glucose level, the pancreas puts out insulin. Insulin resistance occurs when the normal amount that is excreted by the pancreas is not able to get to the cells. In almost one-third of people with insulin resistance, calls don't respond to insulin at all. This results in glucose building up in the blood causing High Blood Glucose or Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin Resistance can occur even if you already have diabetes and take insulin injections. [9] Some of the symptoms of Insulin Resistance Syndrome are: having a history of it in immediate family (brothers, sisters, parents), Diabetes during pregnancy,having a history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, abnormally high blood sugar, being overweight or obese, or having more fat around your waist than your hips. [10] A lot of damage can be done to your body if you're not diagnosed right away with Type 2 Diabetes. People with Insulin Resistance Syndrome (that are diabetic) are two to five more times likely to suffer death in result of a heart attack or stroke than non-diabetics. People with Insulin Resistance Syndrome can suffer from a skin condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, which is a "velvety, mossy, flat warty-like, darkened skin change occurring at the neck, armpits, and under the breasts." About ninety percent of women with this skin condition have Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Insulin Resistance Syndrome can be worsened by reduced physical activity, aging, tobacco use, diuretics, some anti- hypertensives, or steroids. It can be diagnosed with a test called the hyperinsulinemic euglycemicclamp study. It is when insulin and glucose are infused intravenously (through and IV or drip in your arm, hand, or other parts of the body) in different doses to determine how much insulin is needed to control the glucose. The best ways to treat it are exercise and weight loss. Generally, losing ten to twenty pounds increases glycemic control and around sixteen percent body weight loss can have a one-hundred percent improvement. It is recommended to talk to a doctor if you have: a family history of Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, a weight to hip ratio of over 0.8, a body mass index of over twenty-seven, low HDL level, elevated triglycerides, athrosclerotic or coronary heart disease, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a history of gestational diabetes in pregnancy, or darkened skin around the neck, armpits, axillary and/or breast folds that is consistent with Acanthrosis Nigracans. [11]

Physiological Effects and Side Effects

Taking insulin has many physiologoical and physical side effects. The duration of each insulin injection varies with each type of insulin that is used. The two most common types of insulin are regular insulin and NPH insulin. Regular insulin has a quick reaction time with a shorter time of use (it starts working within thirty minutes and lasts about six to eight hours) while NPH insulin has a slower reaction time with a longer time of use (it starts working within two hours and lasts for about eighteen to twenty-six hours). Another type of insulin is Insulin Lispro. It is a chemically modified, natural insulin. It works after about fifteen minutes and has a longer time of use than regular insulin. The fourth type of insulin is insulin glargine. It has the slowest reaction time (seventy minutes) but has the longest period of use (twenty four hours). it is more effective than human insulin. [12] Insulin breaks down and puts glucose into your system in two steps. These steps are: 1) Hexose Transporters put glucose into your cells by diffusion. Muscle tissues are a major source of cells for diffusion. Insulin acts as a transporter through the plasma membrane. 2) Insulin then stimulates the liver to store its glucose using glycogen. Glycogen is a polymer that is formed when glucose is absorbed from the small intestine and is absorbed by heptocytes. Insulin will then decrease the concentration of glucose in the blood. Insulin will break down the fat in the adipose tissue. [13] When taking insulin many physical side effects will occur. You can also develop conditions as a reaction or as result of the insulin injections. A person could contract:

  • Hyperglycemia- high blood sugar
  • Hypoglycemia- low blood sugar
  • Diabetic Ketoacidoses- An increase in acids called ketones in your blood caused by your body down fat.
  • Cardiovascular diseases- This includes coronary heard disease, heart attacks, stroke, and atherosclerosis (the narrowing of arteries)
  • Nephropathy- nerve damage
  • Eye Damage
  • Foot Damage caused by nerve damage resulting from Nephropthy
  • skin and Mouth Conditions- includes bacterial infections, fungal infections, itching, and gum infections.
  • Bone and Joint Problems. [14]


Diabetes is a metabolic disorder related to the way your body uses food for energy and growth. When a person eats, the pancreas produces insulin to put glucose into the blood cells. A person has Diabetes when their body does not make enough or does not use insulin the way it should. Glucose builds up in the blood and leaks into the urine and passes out the body. This causes the body to be deficient of a major fuel source it needs to stay healthy. [15] The three main types of Diabetes are Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is classified as an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is when the immune system attacks the body and destroys the insulin making cells in the pancreas. A person with Type 1 Diabetes must take daily doses of insulin in order to survive. Scientist think that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors effect the condition, along with viruses. Five to ten percent of all people suffering from Diabetes are infected with Type 1 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of Diabetes. Those infected with it make up ninety to ninety-five percent of infected people. People of old age, who are obese, have a family history of gestational diabetes, and have low physical activity. It is more common ethnicities like African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Many women develop Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy, but it usually goes away after the birth of their child. In some cases, it does not go away. These women have a forty to sixty percent higher chance of getting Type 2 Diabetes, and it can develop within five to ten years. People can prevent this by maintaining a reasonable body weight and staying physically active. About three to eight percent of women develop Gestational Diabetes. Like Types 1 and 2 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes is more common in some ethnicities than others, but pregnancy hormones and low levels of insulin can contribute as well. [16] Over twenty-million Americans are infected with some form of Diabetes, and almost forty-million Americans have pre diabetes. People are at higher risk for Diabetes if: they're over forty-five years old,they have immediate family with Diabetes, they had Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy, they delivered a baby over nine pounds, they have a history of heart disease, high blood cholesterol level, they are obese, not physically active, or have Polycystic Ovary Disease. There are many symptoms of Types 1 and 2 Diabetes. For Type 1 Diabetes they are: fatigue, an increase in thirst, an increase in urination, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss despite an increase in appetite. For Type 2 Diabetes they include: blurred vision, fatigue, an increase in appetite, increased thirst, and an increase in urination. It is recommended that people with Type 2 Diabetes should maintain a balanced and low-fat diet, to keep blood glucose levels down and consistent. [17]


  • [1] Diabetes Information Hub, 2009
  • [2] Dictionary, 2010
  • [3] Vitamins & Health Supplements Guide, 2005-2006
  • [4] WebMD, 1996-2010
  • [5] R. Bowen, 08/01/09
  • [6] Amanda Schaffer, New York Times, 5/20/09