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Re: [IPk] Pork insulin/ novorapid

> Tony - forgive me if I hold a different view of animal insulins...
> I am not aware of any medical evidence that synthetic 'human' insulin is
> general better than animal insulin. And for many people it has brought
> serious problems - like loss of hypo awareness. And the long acting animal
> insulins are believed by some to have a steadier release than the
> 'human' equivalent. In that light, I do not understand why the general
> diabetic population who had no problems with animal insulin were moved
> the newly developed synthetic 'human' insulin.

There are several advantages John, and we've both been around ling enough to
know about them. For me, getting off an animal product was a bonus, and this
is even more important in the era of zoonoses (animal illnesses which can be
transmitted to humans) including CJD - I hasten to add this is not an
illness of pigs, but does give us reason to move away from such products.
The second reason is immune reactions, which were common with all animal
insulins over time. These caused lipo-dystrophy and lipo-hypertrophy,
swellings at favourite injection sites. Not the end of the world, but a

Next, I remember appreciating how much more quickly human insulin worked.
It's real insulin, exactly the same as that made by human pancreases, but
different to that from animals. It's not surprising that it suits humans a
little better. Given iv, like the real thing, it works exactly the same, but
on injection under the skin, it forms complexes that take a few minutes to
dissolve and get into the blood stream. (Analogues work faster still because
they are adjusted to prevent the complexes from forming). Anyway, human
insulin worked faster than the animal insulin, and so a hypo came on faster
and got further before we noticed it. This led to an 'outcry' from a
minority that hypos were occuring without anyone knowing about them.

The jury is still out on whether tighter control, with frequent small hypos,
leads to reduced awareness of hypos. It is now established, however, that
insulin type has nothing to do with it. The main determining factor is
frequency of hypos, and the solution isn't to change insulin, or retreat
into less good control, but to monitor closely for a while, make adjustments
to prevent hypos for a month or two, then hypo sensitivity returns.

> Bit more about it at http://www.iddtinternational.org/uk/

John this site is a little biased, and relies heavily on old data obtained
at the start of the human insulin revolution. It has only one thing to
offer, and that is a spin on animal insulin!! In Ireland, most people with
type 1 have now never heard of animal insulin, and personally I think we
have to keep moving on. One aspect that is related is the immune effects of
all insulins. Animal insulins definitely showed more (studies haven't proved
this, but these phenomena have disappeared so studies are no longer needed)
but analogues could in the future prove to have similar effects. There are
also murmurs of concern about the effect of various insulins on a tumour
growth factor triggered by insulin. What if a modern insulin had an
increased influence on such a receptor? I stress, NO effects to date, but

So overall I stick with my original statement; if human insulin's aren't
working, use them more effectively rather than switching to out-dated
products.  Tony O'S

> Me - I moved back onto pork insulin in 1995, and gained greatly improved
> control. The bad night-time hypos that I had been getting completely
> stopped. Pork insulin gets my vote. I stayed on pork Actrapid when I
> started on the pump, and only moved to Humalog because it is a lot faster.
> Paul - I tried NovoRapid in my pump last year, but I found it somewhat
> slower than Humalog. I was looking for an improvement in the life of my
> infusion sites, but the NovoRapid was no different from Humalog in me. But
> as you have observed with Humalog, we are all different and can respond in
> quite different ways to different insulins.
> Good luck!
> John
> --
> mailto:email @ redacted
> http://www.webshowcase.net/johnneale
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