More Lows on Human Insulin


By: Ben Eastman

After a ten-year study researchers from the University of Wisconsin Medical School found that users of human insulin report more hypoglycemic reactions than those using animal insulin.

Other factors found to contribute to insulin reactions were: being thinner, having a lower glycosylated hemoglobin reading and being female. The type of insulin used appeared to have no effect on changes in weight, body mass index or glycated hemoglobin levels, according to the study published in the March 1997 issue of Diabetes Care. Also, there appeared to be very little difference in the amount of insulin taken between the two groups. But those on human insulin were more likely to be taking multiple doses per day, which could have contributed to their more frequent hypoglycemic episodes.

In a seemingly contradictory conclusion, the study claims that different reaction frequencies associated with the insulins become insignificant when the “level of glycemia” is taken into account. Researcher Barbara Klein, MD, explained that the hypoglycemic reactions resulted from dosing problems, not directly from the type of insulin taken.



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