What is Insulin? Insulin’s Role in Diabetes Mellitus

What is Insulin? Insulin’s Role in Diabetes MellitusThe insulin hormone seems to play first fiddle in diabetes disease, both for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It also have much attention and mentioning in various articles on diabetes dietology. So what is it and how is it connected to diabetes mellitus disease?

Look what I’ve found about it. Insulin is a hormone. “What is hormone?” was my immediate question. Here it is. Hormone is organic substance that is produced in one part of the multicellular organism and is able to exert effects on other, sometimes far distant, parts of the same organism. Hormones regulate a variety of physiological activities concerned with growth, maintenance, and reproduction of a constant internal environment (so called homeostasis). That is according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Dry and to the point. For my understanding hormones is a small very useful nuts and bolts produced in one place to make some useful work in another place in my body, ultimately working for harmony and status quo inside my precious organism! Right? I am confident you will find lots of useful information on insulin subject and diabetes when you’ll check out links to to right. Please come back to me afterwards or just hit “Ctrl+D” to add me to your Bookmarks. Thank you very much! Without you my place would be empty. :-)

Insulin is a hormone that regulates the level of sugar (glucose, stuff which derived from carbohydrates, mostly) in the blood and is produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas (I have an article on pancreas and Langerhans here, just check it out). Insulin is secreted when the level of blood glucose rises, usually after a meal. When the level of blood glucose goes down, production of hormone insulin stops, and the liver releases glucose into the blood. Insulin is a simple protein in which two polypeptide chains of amino acids are joined by disulfide linkages. Oh-ohhh… Scientific mumbo-jumbo, anyone? :-) Can’t say I am totally on the same page but very near. How about you?

Insulin helps transfer glucose into cells so that they can oxidize the glucose to produce energy for the body. In fat tissue (also called adipose tissue), insuline facilitates the storage of glucose and its conversion to fatty acids. Insulin also slows the breakdown of fatty acids. In muscle tissue it promotes the uptake of amino acids for making proteins. In the liver it helps convert glucose into glycogen (the storage carbohydrate of animaks) and it decreases formation of glucose from noncarbohydrate sources (gluconeogenesis).

From my point of view it is fascinating! The action of hormone insulin is opposed by hormone glucagon, which is another hormone produced by the pancreas. Inadequate production of insulin is directly responsible for development of diabetes mellitus, both type 1 (Type I) diabetes and type 2 (Type II) diabetes.

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