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.
And also I live in the US
Actually more complicated than that. Within the Lilly branding, Regular (R), NPH (N) and L (Lente) were all available as either "Iletin I" or "Iletin II". Iletin was the Lilly brand.
"Iletin I" was beef+pork or any arbitrary mix (between 100/0 and 50/50 and 0/100) of beef+pork.
"Iletin II" was pork only.
Some folks who were in some way allergic to the beef kind used Iletin II. The pork-derived insulin was less likely in some to cause insulin allergies.
I think Novo/Nordisk had a similar distinction scheme. I think some brand (not sure what, one of the UK brands?) was available that was 100% beef for those allergic to pork kind.
If you are thinking of taking it because of C-peptide content, think again.
Modern animal insulins, including Wockhardt's linked above - Hypurin - are highly purified
with everything other than insulin removed (and of course preservatives added ).
In particular on another forum a user wrote to Wockhardt to inquire specifically about C-Peptide content and got the following reply :
Request for information forwarded to Drug Safety and Information
Department, Wockhardt UK Limited (incorporating CP Pharmaceuticals Limited
and The Wallis Laboratory Limited)
Enquiry: Received: 07.06.2010
Response date: 07.06.2010
Wockhardt UK Limited's Hypurin Insulins are highly purified. The complex
processing removes any traces of C-peptide that may be present to extremely
So if they behave differently, it's not likely due to C-peptide.
Bummer! And by differently, could there be an aversion to bacon?
C-Pep would be the only interest I would have with them. Thanks for the info!
To me there is no protective component in c-peptide. People have a genetic arsenal of countermeasures against elevated blood glucose. For some these ongoing repairs work well and for some they can not keep up with the damage. Some people can smoke their whole life. For some one visit to a smoke filled room or sniffing at the gasoline while filling up might lead to lung cancer many years later. We have the capability to cope with damages. A good example is that diabetics might develop kidney or eye problems but very rarely both. The stress from elevated blood glucose was high enough to cause complications. Still the body found ways to protect either the eyes or the kidneys. The answer is in our genetic predisposition and our quality of glucose control.
The other point is the hypo awareness. I think most people can preserve their hypo awareness with modern analog insulins. People that switched from pork to analog reported about their difficulties to detect lows. But we should keep in mind that analog insulins are designed to act much faster. Perhaps people that have been using pork before have difficulties to recognize the signs of rapid movements of the blood glucose. But the new insulins need a much higher level of alertness to detect lows early. Perhaps they just have been underestimating the rapid onset of the new insulins.
I live very close to a Canadian border. Recently, I contacted a Canadian phaarmacy. The pharmacist told me beef/pork insulins are no longer available in Canada. Can any Canadians confirm this?
A company called Cebix in California is investigating C peptide and its' use in reversing and ameliorating some diabetic complications including neuropathy and nephropathy. They are in some phase of clinical trials and have found C peptide is protective and also therapeutic in some of the common D complications. I have had T1 for 37 years and used the porcupine ( I mean porcine) insulins for all but the last 10 years or so.
Encouraging news! Hope this comes to market.