Red wine's resveratrol could help Mars explorers stay strong

Mars is about 9 months from Earth with today's tech, NASA reckons. As the new space race hurtles forward, Harvard researchers are asking: how do we make sure the winners can still stand when they reach the finish line?

Life is tough but so are worms—thanks to mom

Numerous studies show that the legacy of hardship can be passed from one generation to the next. The good news is that resilience can cross generations too.

Op-ed: When did GMO become a dirty word?

Do you know someone with diabetes? While most people may associate GMOs with food products, their use actually began in the medical field with insulin, an important part of diabetes treatment.

Metals influence C-peptide hormone related to insulin

Metals such as zinc, copper and chromium bind to and influence a peptide involved in insulin production, according to new work from chemists at the University of California, Davis. The research is part of a new field of "metalloendocrinology" ...

Cells that change jobs to fight diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by persistent high blood sugar levels that occur when certain cells in the pancreas—the insulin-producing β cells—are destroyed or are no longer able to secrete insulin. Researchers at the University ...

Giddy up—help for plump ponies is fast on its way

QUT Professor Martin Sillence, from QUT's School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, said a new veterinary drug related to one used to treat human metabolic syndrome has been found to prevent laminitis in ponies ...

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Insulin

More reference expression data

Insulin is a hormone that has extensive effects on metabolism and other body functions, such as vascular compliance. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle, and stopping use of fat as an energy source. When insulin is absent (or low), glucose is not taken up by body cells, and the body begins to use fat as an energy source, for example, by transfer of lipids from adipose tissue to the liver for mobilization as an energy source. As its level is a central metabolic control mechanism, its status is also used as a control signal to other body systems (such as amino acid uptake by body cells). It has several other anabolic effects throughout the body. When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes mellitus results.

Insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus. Patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus depend on external insulin (most commonly injected subcutaneously) for their survival because the hormone is no longer produced internally. Patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus are insulin resistant, and because of such resistance, may suffer from a relative insulin deficiency. Some patients with Type 2 diabetes may eventually require insulin when other medications fail to control blood glucose levels adequately.

Insulin is a peptide hormone composed of 51 amino acids and has a molecular weight of 5808 Da. It is produced in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. The name comes from the Latin insula for "island".

Insulin's structure varies slightly between species of animal. Insulin from animal sources differs somewhat in 'strength' (in carbohydrate metabolism control effects) in humans because of those variations. Porcine (pig) insulin is especially close to the human version.

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