Oral Administration of Insulin: Imitating the Natural Pathway

  • Murray Saffran
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 238)


Before the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best in 1921, a diagnosis of diabetes, especially in a young child, was a sentence of death. Since then, insulin has given the patient with diabetes mellitus many years of life at the expense of daily injections. So far no practical alternative has been developed to the injection route for administration of insulin. As time passed and the initial gratitude for the life-preserving effect of insulin became commonplace, the drawbacks of insulin injections became apparent. First of all there is the discomfort of the injection, now lessened by the development of thinner needles and needle lubricants, the danger of infection, mitigated by convenient alcohol swabs and the disposable needle and syringe, the desire for privacy, decreased somewhat by the development of injection pens and external pumps, and the bother of carrying around and caring for supplies of insulin solutions. With prolonged life came the dilemma of running out of suitable injection sites, as old ones became pin cushioned and less receptive to the needle. But more important than all of these drawbacks of injected insulin, the insulin is delivered to the wrong place.


Single Oral Dose Insulin Injection Hepatic Glucose Production Oral Delivery Oral Insulin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray Saffran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMedical College of OhioToledoUSA

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