Treatments: Animal insulins


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Animal insulins: Insulin extracted from animal pancreases; now rarely used.
Introduction: The original form of the wonder cure for diabetes, these were once the only type of insulin available, but are now rarely used. Animal insulins were originally made from ground-up animal pancreas tissue, and then later were extracted from healthy animals. The metabolism of cows and pigs was close enough to human metabolism that their animal insulin also worked well in human bodies. Beef insulin has 3 differences from human; pork insulin has 1 difference from human. The use of a mixture of beef and pork insulin was also possible.

The usage of animal insulin has so greatly declined in modern times that they have largely been withdrawn from the market. Newly diagnosed diabetics are typically given synthesized human insulin.

One of the problems with animal insulins was antibody issues. The body identifies them and tries to reject them. Pork insulin differs by 1 amino acid and beef insulin by 3 amino acids, so the body's immune system can sometimes recognize them as foreign. Human synthesized insulins avoid this problem by having the exactly correct sequence of amino acids.


Count: Animal insulins is listed as a: treatment for 0 conditions; alternative treatment for 0 conditions; preventive treatment for 0 conditions; research treatment for 0 conditions.
Treatments: all treatments


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