Discovery of Insulin


Diabetes. Heard of it? Well, over 1,500,000 people are affected by diabetes in Canada every year. About 10% of people that have diabetes, have type one diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in children or teenagers. The lingering 90% have type two diabetes, which usually affects adults but recently in some cases mostly in high risk populations, children are also being diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes, offcially known as diabetes mellitus, is a serious disese that affects blood glucose levels. A diabetic’s body either doesn’t provide enough insulin to process blood glucose or the tissues in a diabetics body doesn’t use the insulin properly. Now, diabetes has been documented for a long time and the charateristics and causes of diabetes may be different for each patient and the type of diabetes they have. Treatments for diabetes were unheard of, until and only after the isolation and discovery of inuslin by Federick Banting, J.J.R. Macleod and with the help of Charles Best and J.B Collip. all_four.jpg

What is Insulin?......................................................................................................................................
Insulin is a peptide protein hormone that comes from the pancreas. Insulin is the most important hormone for fuel storage it affects your carbohydrates, fat and protein throughout your entire body. For example when you are eating your body (pancreases) releases a certain amount of insulin to break down your food, the amount we eat and what we eat affects our blood glucose levels. Glucose is a kind of blood sugar our body’s process from the sugar and starch in our food, our bodies use the glucose as a kind of energy. When the pancreas is not releasing the right amount of insulin the body needs, the glucose is stored in the body’s cells and builds up in the blood stream. This causes the symptoms of diabetes which are: fatigue, thirst, and frequent urination, damage to the nerves, blurred vision and muscle cramps.

Diabetes in the 1920s...........................................................................................................................................................
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3-year-old Leonard Thompson, before, and several weeks after receiving insulin in 1922.


In the 1920's over 1 million people in North America had diabetes. No one
knew what caused diabetes
and no one knew what to do about it. Thousands of North Americans who were suffering from diabetes died every year.


Federick Banting’s interest with diabetes started when his childhood friend Jane, died at the age of fourteen from diabetes. He was horrified by her suffering and death and he could not understand why doctors had not found a cure yet. When Banting grew up he became an ordinary surgeon in London, Ontario. After World War I he was having trouble finding patients. On the night of October 1920 he woke up in the middle of the night with an idea, he wrote the note on a piece of paper so he would not forget. He contacted Professor J.J.R Macleod at the University of Toronto and told him about his idea. At first Professor Macleod turned him down, but Banting did not give up and finally Macleod agreed and gave him a research laboratory and the assistance of graduate student Charles Best. Shortly after they started Banting and Best saw promising outcomes with the dogs they were working with but they could not improve the recipe for the medicine, until Macleod and a biochemist J.B Collips helped them out. In January 1922 they performed their first human clinical test on Leonard Thompson and saw dramatic difference in him. In late 1922, insulin was ready and was made available to treat all diabetics. In 1923, Federick Banting and J.J.R. Macleod were awarded a Noble Prize. But Banting was not happy that Charles Best was not given any credit so he shared half of his award with him. Shortly after, Macleod shared his earnings with J.B Collip. Federick Banting was also knighted for his medical achievemnets.

Significance in Canadian and World history, Even Today​ .......................................................................................................................................................................
This topic is important in understanding Canadian history because, it shows how innovative and progressive Canadians were and still are today. The discovery of insulin changed and affected Canada and the world in a tremendous way because it saved millions of lives, and still is saving millions of lives worldwide every year. And will always be remebered as "Canada's greatest medical innovation"
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Federick Banting and Charlese Best working in the labratory where insulin was discovered at the University of Toronto

References..................................................................................................................................

Images

1. Sir Federick Banting, J.J.R Macleod, Charles Best and J.B Collip
http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2009/03/nobel-laureates-frederick-banting-and.html
2. Leonard Thompson and his mother
http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/lens/article/?id=221
3. Federick Banting and Charles Best at the labratory insulin was discover at the University of Toronto
http://ca.expasy.org/spotlight/back_issues/009/

Information

1. Diabetes Mellitus by G.D Molnar
2. The Canadian 100 by H.Graham Rawlinson adn J.L Granstein
3. Made in Canada by Bev Spencer
4. Insulin by G.D Molnar


.................................................................................................. By : Netsanet Kidane..................................................................................................................................