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Where does insulin come from in the body? I've heard that the insulin they give you to take in the pen comes from pigs. Is that true? Can't they make the insulin in a lab without it needing to come from a pig? 

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For many years, insulin was obtained by purifying it from the pancreas of cows and pigs slaughtered for food. This was expensive, difficult and the insulin could cause allergic reactions. Once the structure of human insulin had been found, in 1955, the cow and pig insulin could be chemically modified to be the same as human insulin. It is now made by genetically-engineered microbes. They produce human insulin in a pure form that is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Producing human insulin Human insulin is produced in a very controlled and clean environment. Genetically-engineered bacteria are grown in large stainless steel fermentation vessels. The vessel contains all the nutrients needed for growth. When the fermentation is complete, the mixture containing the bacteria is harvested. The bacteria are filtered off and broken open to release the insulin they have produced. It is then purified and packaged into bottles for distribution. All the equipment is kept sterile so that contamination cannot get into the medicine. Regular checks make sure that all the processes are working properly and the insulin meets the required quality.
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Blankcanvas seemed to have covered the origins quite well, so I will ask other questions. What exactly are your concerns about insulin coming from an animal? Are you worried about swine flu? Or are you, perhaps a vegan? Insulin is one of the safest medications that the pharmaceutical companies manufacture. I have questions about all sorts of other medications, but I've never been concerned about insulin. There are pills that are available if you'd prefer not to take an injection, but over the last few years, several pills that were designed to control blood sugar have been recalled. There are synthetic insulins available that do not come from animals that are available. You should talk to your doctor about your concerns and decide what will work best for you.
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Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to rising blood sugar in the bloodstream. You need it to keep your body in balance. Too much sugar floating around in the bloodstream could cause blurry vision, heart problems, confusion and even death. If you have a problem using animal products, they make synthetic stuff that works just fine. If you're nervous about the injections, you could maybe get one of the pills that controls your sugar and then maybe you wouldn't have to worry about injections.

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