Insulin is a peptide hormone secreted by beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin has a number of important functions in the human body; it helps control blood glucose levels and allows your body to use glucose for energy.
What is the Function of Insulin in the Human Body?
What is Insulin?
Insulin is defined as a type of protein hormone that plays a central role in controlling blood sugar levels in the body and allows our body to use glucose from carbohydrates in the food we eat for energy or to store glucose for future use.
Insulin consists of fifty-one amino acids, distributed in two peptide chains (dimer) named A chain (with 21 amino acids) and B chain (with 30 amino acids), and the two chains can be combined by two disulfide bonds.
The human insulin has a molecular mass of 5808 Da and the molecular formula is C257H383N65O77S6.
What is responsible for insulin secretion in the body?
The hormone insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. Beta cells are found in islets of Langerhans in the pancreas gland and then excreted directly into the blood.
Insulin travels and binds to its own receptors on the cell wall, opens it, and allows sugar to enter the cell wall and burn to produce the energy needed for the body. Hence, insulin has great importance as a private key opening receptor in cells.
The Function of Insulin in the Body
Insulin has a very important function in the body, as it is secreted by the pancreas when the blood sugar level rises above the normal limit for glucose and sugar to enter the cells to burn it.
Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by sending a signal to the liver, muscles, and fat cells to absorb glucose from the blood. If the body has enough energy, insulin refers to the liver to absorb glucose and store it as glycogen. The liver helps convert glucose into glycogen, thereby reducing the blood sugar level.
Insulin can be infused under the skin of the arms, abdomen, thigh, or cripples.
The main functions of insulin can be summarized as follows:
Insulin helps control blood glucose level and keep it from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
Insulin promotes glucose uptake, lipogenesis, glycogenesis and protein synthesis of fat tissue and skeletal muscle through the tyrosine kinase receptor pathway.
Insulin helps regulate the plasma glucose homeostasis, as it counteracts glucagon and other catabolic hormones.
Insulin also plays an important role in other body functions, such as vascular compliance and cognition.
Insulin and Diabetes Treatment
Insulin is used medically to treat some types of diabetes, especially those who suffer from type 1 diabetes, as they rely on obtaining insulin to survive because of the inability of their pancreas to produce the hormone insulin.
How many types of insulin are used for diabetes?
The insulin is divided into five categories according to its ability to treat diabetes after injecting it into the body. The five types of insulin used for diabetes are:
Rapid-acting insulin: This insulin is very fast in effect and it covers insulin needs for meals eaten at the same time as the injection.
Short-acting insulin: This takes longer to start working than the rapid-acting insulins and covers insulin needs for meals eaten within 30-60 minutes.
Intermediate-acting insulin: This covers insulin needs for about half the day or overnight.
Mixed insulin: This insulin contains a pre-mixed combination of either rapid-acting insulin or short-acting insulin, together with intermediate-acting insulin.
Long-acting insulin: This covers insulin needs for about one full day. Long-acting insulin is often combined, when needed, with rapid-acting insulin or short-acting insulin.