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Question:

From Marietta, Georgia, USA:

Which is better, human insulin or animal insulin, and why?

Answer:

The best insulin is obviously the stuff we make ourselves and this is still true in patients with diabetes who still make a little of their own. When it comes to giving injected insulin there are theoretical reasons why human should be better - it is the same protein as the natural product and so shouldn't cause any antibody problems. The nearest neighbour in insulin terms is the pig so porcine insulins were used more than beef before human was available.

A couple of years ago there was a raging debate about whether patients on human insulin were less able to detect hypoglycaemia than those on animal insulins. Most experts agree that there is no good evidence of this but those who wish to continue on animal insulins or revert from human, should be allowed to do so.

KJR

Original posting 23 Oct 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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