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Why zinc? was: Re: [IP] Why Humalog is so fast


The July 98 Diabetes Forecast has a letter in the Mail Call column which
indicates that zinc is "an important stabilizing factor in all commercially
available insulins". It sounds like there are no commercial insulins
manufactured without zinc.

The author of the letter pointed out that there is an "alternative insulin"
available, referred to as "neutral sodium insulin", which uses sodium
instead of zinc. This is for the "rare" individual who is allergic to zinc
and is available only for "compassionate use".  This insulin is made
available only after the doctor obtains an "Investigational New Drug"
approval through a hospital Institutional Review Board. This request is
reviewed on a yearly basis. Eli Lilly makes this drug available free of
charge in these cases. (I've re stated the letter to the editor and the
response. Full text is on page 18 of the July 98 issue).

Where is our guest biochemist when needed ;-)


mailto:email @ redacted

>Thanks Mary Jean, but like all good science, one answer just leads to
>another question :-)   Now I'm wondering why they need the zinc there at
>all.  Years ago I used to take Protomine Zinc insulin which was one of the
>original long acting isulins.  I didn't realized zinc was in with R, too.
>From what you wrote, it would seem that if there were no zinc, then the R
>would be just as rapidly absorbed as H.  So who knows why the insulin is
>packaged with zinc?

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