I've been a Type 1 diabetic for /years/ (25+) and started on Human insulin.

In chatting with Richard (who is a pillar in the diabetic community) I learned that animal (and real human insulin) contains 2 proteins and not just the one - and that the RDNA insulin I started on and almost all of us are now on - lack C-Peptide.

Richard and other "long term survivors" have commented how tough the transition was - and that the new RDNA insulins had a phenomena known as "hard to perceive lows."

Further research I have conducted suggests that as many as 10% of our fellow Type 1s have this "very hard time" with the new RDNA insulins, and that there has been a bemoaning to return to some form of the Animal insulins with the C-Peptide.

I noticed that Wockhardt actually still make Pork, and believe it or not - Porcupine insulins - animal based, C-Peptide included.

Now here's the rub - in the US - it appears big pharma are "keeping it out" - they have all but abandoned animal insulins for the far more profitable "synthetic" ones.

However - I have discovered it is possible to get these - directly from the manufacturer. There are a few steps, essentially you need a permission letter from the USDA ($94 fee for 5 years) and a letter from your doc saying you do better on animal insulin, and a letter committing that the insulin shipped to you is strictly for personal use.


Has anyone here in the US gone through this process?

I'm actually curious because i'd actually be interested in determining the differences in my personal health using animal based (C-Peptide included) insulins versus the faster, cheaper to make, better profit margin for the manufacturer insulins.

Can anyone comment whom have gone through the process?

Has it made a difference?

Here is the process if anyone is interested in obtaining direct access to animal based insulins.


Note: I am a Type 1 diabetic, computer geek, and just plain curious.


Views: 688

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think you mean porcine not porcupine. At least porcupine insulin would come with its own needles.... Sorry I couldn't resist saying that.

I've had Type 1 for 36 years and used pork-based insulin for many years. I don't remember any issues when I switched to Humulin insulins or current analog insulins. This whole debate is a non-issue to me. The idea that the c-peptide in the animal-based insulins protected people who took them seems phooey to me. Most people with Type 1 in olden days died an aversge 20 years earlier than non-diabetics and blindness and amputations were seen at a rate significantly higher than today. Many also believe that they didn't have hypoglycemia unawareness until they quit the animal-based insulins. That could also just be related to the duration of diabetes.

But many people believe that they feel much better on the animal-based insulins and that their diabetes is in better control. I certainly am not informed enough to do anything but respect their beliefs.

Interesting subject, so let us know what you find out.

Oh, Lathump, I wish you could have heard my LOLLLLL at that first line!

I just hope that Drew has a sense of humor. Please Drew tell me that you do.

I do - seemed a natural animal to diabetics.

Okay - seems less shocking than porcupines.


But still - had to look it up.

So back to the animal insulins, anyone on them?

I am not on them, nor have I ever been, having just been recently diagnosed and put on insulin. I might want to try them at some point as I don't like the feeling of being on insulin at all, but it is my only choice to stay alive. I feel hungry a lot of the time and I have a lot of rapid shifts in bg with sweating etc. I wonder if the animal insulins may be better for me- who knows. I know each insulin is different for everyone from what I have read.

I have been diabetic for 31 years, so I was also on animal insulin both beef and pork. Because of that I found out I can not give blood due to a risk of mad cow disease. If any of you want to try animal insulin you might investigate that before a good friend needs blood and you want to help and are not able to.

I've had Type 1 for 36 years. I definitely remember pork-based insulin. I don't know about beef. Do you live in the US or abroad? I've never tried to give blood, so don't know whether I would be eligible or not.
Next year on Diabetes Art Day, I envision a porcupine with syringe needles squirting out porcine insulin. One of those visuals that brings some humor to the daily rut of living with Type 1. Thanks, Drew.

OMG, I just laughed so hard at that first line that I lost some of my coffee out my nose!! Good one.

In 1997, Eli Lilly  jointly funded research into C-Peptide as a possible therapeutic. In the research undertaken at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, researchers determined that C-Peptide may effectively prevent and even reverse cardiovascular disease and nerve damage in people with Type1 diabetes, although their studies were only on rodent models of the disease. However, the company never pursued commercialization of the product.


supplementation of C-peptide in type 1 diabetic patients may be beneficial while an increase in C-peptide levels in patients with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may be harmful...high levels cause Plaque build up in the cardiovascular system so if you introduce c peptide into a Type2's insulin regiment it could accelerate heart failure.

There's an animal insulin advocacy movement in the UK. I contacted them over a year ago. Because of processing methods, there's actually very little C-peptide in current animal insulin. Other benefits, but not C-peptide. Really disappointing.

I looked into getting Canadian porcine insulin, but decided against it because there wasn't assurance that US Customs would allow it. Sometimes they do & sometimes they don't. Vials can be held up in customs for a while & that would effect potency. A lot of chances to take at $94/vial.

Seems that the safest way to get it from CA is drive there:)

The L insulin was the pork and the R insulin was the beef, or the other way around.




From the Diabetes Hands Foundation blog...

DHF Joins Diabetes Advocacy Alliance

Diabetes Hands Foundation is incredibly honored to join the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, an organization with the drive and potential to affect a powerful, positive impact on diabetes and healthcare policy. Diabetes Advocacy Alliance is a 20-member coalition of leading professional Read on! →

Helmsley Charitable Trust Renews Support for DHF

HELMSLEY CHARITABLE TRUST GRANTS SUPPORT TO DIABETES HANDS FOUNDATION FOR FOURTH YEAR  Funding in 2015 to support major transitions in programs and leadership at Diabetes Hands Foundation BERKELEY, CA: February 18, 2015 – The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Read on! →

Diabetes Hands Foundation Team


Melissa Lee
(Interim Executive Director, Editor, has type 1)

Manny Hernandez
(Co-Founder, has LADA)

Emily Coles (Head of Communities, has type 1)

Mila Ferrer
(EsTuDiabetes Community Manager, mother of a child with type 1)

Mike Lawson
(Head of Experience, has type 1)

Corinna Cornejo
(Director of Operations and Development, has type 2)

Desiree Johnson  (Administrative and Programs Assistant, has type 1)


Lead Administrator

Brian (bsc) (has type 2)


Lorraine (mother of type 1)
Marie B (has type 1)

DanP (has Type 1)

Gary (has type 2)

David (has type 2)


LIKE us on Facebook

Spread the word


This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

© 2015   A community of people touched by diabetes, run by the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

Badges  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Service