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What is insulin?

Last updated date: 14th Apr 2024
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MVSAT 2024
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Hint: Insulin is a type of hormone which can be made both naturally as well as artificially. Its major function is regulation of blood sugar in the human body.

Complete step by step answer: Insulin and glucagon are hormones that help regulate the body’s glucose levels. Whenever we have a diet rich in carbohydrates and glucose, the sugar level of the body increases. Insulin and glucagon both are synthesized in the pancreas. As the level of sugar rises, the pancreas signals all the cells in the body to take up this glucose and utilize it.
Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta type of islet cells of the pancreas. Insulin promotes the absorption of blood glucose by liver, muscle and fat cells.Beta cells are sensitive to blood sugar levels so that they secrete insulin into the blood in response to high levels of glucose; and inhibit secretion of insulin when glucose levels are low. Insulin enhances glucose uptake and metabolism in the cells, thereby reducing blood sugar level. Decreases in normal blood glucose result in a condition called hypoglycaemia. In this case, insulin can be over functional. Increased levels of blood sugar result in a condition called diabetes. In either case, if the level of blood sugar is not maintained, the body might suffer harmful consequences.

Additional information: Alpha type of islet cells take cues from the beta cells and secrete glucagon into the blood in the opposite manner: increased secretion when blood glucose is low, and decreased secretion when glucose concentrations are high. Glucagon increases blood glucose level.

Note: In case if the body fails to produce insulin, nowadays new methods have been developed to produce insulin by recombinant DNA technology. This insulin can then be injected into the body.