Human Insulin

Human Insulin

Students of Biology who had learned about diabetes in their secondary school would have familiarized themselves with the term ‘insulin’. Insulin is used by humans for the treatment of diabetes as it has been under use since 1982. Human insulin is the term used to refer to the laboratory-grown insulin that mimics the insulin that is produced by the human body.

The human insulin is the neutral insulin which describes synthetic insulin, a laboratory-grown to simulate the insulin in humans. After developing the same from 1960 to 1970, it was finally approved for medical purposes in 1982.  A purified kind of animal insulin named porcine (extracted from pork) was under use before the arrival of human insulin.

Human Insulin is produced in the laboratory by injecting proteins of insulin in Escherichia coli (E- Coli) bacteria.

Types of Human Insulin

There are two types of human insulin available viz. the short-acting (regular) form an intermediate (Neutral Protamine Hagedorn) acting form.

NPH insulin also known by the name isophane insulin has to be used with the vial turned upside down to make the solution cloudy uniformly and could thus be called as a suspension.

Certain Examples of Human Insulin

NPH (intermediate-acting): Insuman basal, Humulin I, Insulatard

Regular (short-acting): Actrapid, Humulin S, Insuman Rapid

Premixed human insulins: Humulin M2, M3, and M5, Insuman Comb 15, and 50

In comparison with the animal insulin (extracted), the biosynthetic human insulin has better purity thereby reducing antibody formation. Human insulin is introduced to plants by some researchers to figure out a new style of producing insulin (biopharming) in safflower. This new production method is expected to reduce the cost of manufacturing the insulin.

There are different analogs for the same. Most of them resemble the structure of the human insulin and were manufactured for focusing on certain aspects of glycemic control regarding fast action (prandial insulins) and long action (basal insulins).

The structure of synthetic human insulin has the striking resemblance in structure to the natural insulin. However once it is injected into the human system, it would not work like the natural insulin. The main reason behind this phenomenon is the fact that the injected insulin would clump together and its absorption into the human body would be delayed. Hence it would not synchronize well with the needs of the human body.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about Human Insulin and its importance.


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