Insulin : Function, Types, Production, Insulin & diabetes

Published on 08-Oct-2022


The revelation of Insulin started with a miraculous observation that represents the abbreviation of serendipity and diligent experiment that help to the findings of many hormones. It has been accessible since 1925 and was extracted from pancreases of beef and pork. This pancreas is accomplished with proteases and that is directly released into the small intestine to boost digestion. From the 1980’s technology turned available to propagate human insulin synthetically. Naturally, Insulin is a peptide hormone produced from the beta cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. It is deliberated to be the main anabolic hormone of the body that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein by improving the absorption of glucose from the blood. Production and secretion of glucose are inhibited by the high concentration of insulin in the blood that affects protein synthesis and low insulin affects the catabolism of the body, especially reserve body fat. Lack of insulin is the reason for forming diabetes.

The function of Insulin: 

The main role of insulin is to act as a “key” like opening a door (receptor site) on the cells in the body. In which, when the door is opened glucose can enter into the cells and then energize them.

Other functions are given below:

  1. Insulin can promote glucose uptake.
  2. It can control the blood sugar level.
  3. It's also essential for the body's metabolism.
  4. Governs how the body conducts and stocks glucose and fat.
  5. Insulin gives a hint to the liver to stock glucose as for instant glycogen.

Production of Insulin

Identification of gene

The location of the insulin gene in the human chromosome has to be identified at the beginning of the process

Separation of desired genes: 

The DNA fragment is cut from the DNA strand and the DNA (genes) fragment is isolated using a pair of restriction enzymes.

Plasmid extraction

To use as vectors, plasmids are derived from the E.coli bacterium. The plasmid is cut off with a pair of restriction enzymes, leaving space for the insulin gene to be added.

Insertion of the gene to plasmid: 

In this step, the human insulin gene is inserted into the chopped part of the E. coli plasmid and secreted with the help of the lipase enzyme. Thus recombinant plasmids are formed.


In this process, a bacterium changes its genetic makeup by taking genetic material from the environment through the cell membrane. In this process, plasmid-free E. coli is used.


Transgenic bacteria are kept inside specific culture medium formulators. As the bacteria divide, so does the human insulin gene-carrying recombinant plasmid. Under the direction of the insulin gene, each bacterium produces insulin and stores it in the cytoplasm.

Insulin Extraction: 

Insulin is extracted by collecting bacteria from the culture medium of each fermenter.

Classification of Insulin:

 Insulin can be grouped according to the timing of its action in the body. There are three major types of Insulin. They are-

  1. Fast-acting insulin.
  2. Intermediate-acting insulin.
  3. Long-acting insulin.

Fast-acting insulin:

  1. It can be absorbed quickly from fat tissue into the bloodstream.
  2. It can be used to control blood sugar.

Intermediate-acting insulin:

  1. Can be absorbed more slowly.
  2. Can stay last longer.

Long-acting insulin:

  1. Absorbed slowly.
  2. Has a minimum peak effect.

Relationship between Insulin & diabetes: 

If someone has type 1 diabetes, it is very important to receive insulin for this person. The body can’t generate the hormone insulin and without this, we can’t gather energy from the glucose. People with type 1 diabetes are called insulin-dependent diabetes.

The person who has type 2 diabetes, his body can’t generate enough insulin or the insulin that is generated by him can’t work well. In this case, sometimes insulin injection is needed to maintain the blood glucose levels.

Injection devices: Before taking insulin injection one should consult his doctor. There are several devices to deliver insulin into the body. People mainly choose syringes, insulin pens, and insulin pumps.

Insulin syringes:

  1. Syringes are constructed in 30 units, 50 units & 100 units.
  2. This size will depend on the dose of insulin.        

    Insulin pens:        

  1. Pens required 300 units of insulin.
  2. The doctor will advise the right type of pen.

   Insulin pumps:

  1. It is a small device that contains a haunt of insulin.
  2. It grants insulin into the fatty tissue of the body.
  3. An exclusively rapid-acting insulin is used in this pump.


Injection sites of Insulin: To work quickly, insulin is injected into the subcutaneous layer via the skin. It shouldn’t depart into the muscle or immediately into the blood.

Increasing factors of Insulin absorption:

 Insulin exploitation is enhanced by

  1. Injecting it into the arms or thighs.
  2. Injecting it into the subcutaneous layer so that it can work quickly.
  3. Massaging the area just about the injection site.

Suspension factors of Insulin absorption:

 Insulin exploitation is blocked by

  1. Cigarette smoking.
  2. Cold insulin is immediately taken from the fridge.
  3. More than one-time use of a similar injection site.

Storage of Insulin: Insulin should be stored at a 2-8 degree centigrade temperature of the fridge. Also should avoid keeping it in the straight sunlight. Unopened insulin should keep on one side of the fridge. Excess hot or cold temperature can damage the insulin.


  1. Should not use that insulin that has revolved cloudy.
  2. Should not use if the expiry date has been reached.
  3. If it has been more frozen or manifested to high temperature.

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