The discovery of insulin is often cited as one of the major success stories of animal research. However, like most claims by the animal testing industry, it fails to hold up to any serious scrutiny.
The bodies of people with diabetes do not produce or properly use insulin--the hormone needed to convert food into energy. This disease currently effects over 20 million people in the United States.
Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the pancreas, in groupings known as the islets of Langerhans. It is used by the body to move glucose, or blood sugar, from the blood stream into cells. When a person fails to produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels will rise—a condition known as hyperglycemia—and they will eventually fall into a coma and die. This result was inevitable for many diabetics prior to the development of insulin in the 1920’s.
THE HISTORY OF DIABETES RESEARCH
The discovery of insulin is often attributed to Canadian researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best.
However, non-animal research had already revealed much of what was to be known about diabetes. Scientists using clinical observation and autopsy results had been developing an understanding of diabetes for centuries.
Click here to learn more about early diabetes research.
BANTING AND BEST
The notion that diabetes was caused by a lack of insulin had already been shown. The next logical step was to attempt providing supplemental insulin to diabetic patients. Enter Frederick Banting and Charles Best. The notion of providing insulin was sound. But their methodology and the quality of their work was lacking—in fact dangerously so.
Banting and Best attempted to reproduce diabetes in dogs through surgical removal of the pancreas.
Click here to read more about the work of Banting and Best.
PREVENTION AND SAVING OURSELVES
While promoting and utilizing human-centric scientific research is critical to finding cures, each of us can play a significant role in saving our own lives, through lifestyle change and healthy living.
Beyond eliminating obvious damaging activities such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, one of the most powerful and effective ways we can prevent disease is by changing to a plant-based diet.
“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.” American Heart Association
Click here to learn more.
This website is dedicated to the memory of Matt Fancera.