Insulin is a polypeptide hormone that controls the storage and metabolism of
carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This activity occurs primarily in the liver,
in muscle, and in adipose tissues after binding of the insulin molecules to
receptor sites on cellular plasma membranes.
Insulin promotes uptake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in most tissues.
Also, insulin influences carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism by
stimulating protein and free fatty acid synthesis, and by inhibiting release of
free fatty acid from adipose cells. Insulin increases active glucose transport
through muscle and adipose cellular membranes, and promotes conversion of
intracellular glucose and free fatty acid to the appropriate storage forms
(glycogen and triglyceride, respectively). Although the liver does not require
active glucose transport, insulin increases hepatic glucose conversion to
glycogen and suppresses hepatic glucose output. Even though the actions of
exogenous insulin are identical to those of endogenous insulin, the ability to
negatively affect hepatic glucose output differs on a unit per unit basis
because a smaller quantity of an exogenous insulin dose reaches the portal vein.
When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes mellitus will result. As a
consequence, insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus.
Patients with type 1 diabetes depend on external insulin for their survival
because the hormone is no longer produced internally. Patients with type 2
diabetes are often insulin resistant, and because of such resistance, may suffer
from a "relative" insulin deficiency. Some patients with type 2 diabetes may
eventually require insulin if other medications fail to control blood glucose
levels adequately. Over 40% of those with Type 2 diabetes require insulin as
part of their diabetes management plan.
National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine,
DailyMed Database. Provides access to the latest drug monographs submitted to the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Please review the latest applicable package insert for
additional information and possible updates. A local search
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