Have you said thank you to your pancreas lately? The pancreas is an organ behind your stomach. It makes insulin to help you use and store the sugar from your food.
Diabetes is a disease that is caused by problems with insulin. For thousands of years, there was no successful treatment for this disease — people with diabetes eventually fell into a coma and died.
In 1921, Dr. Frederick Banting of Alliston, Ontario, and Charles Best from West Pembroke, Maine, began working together at the University of Toronto to find out how to use insulin to treat diabetes. Dr. Banting’s idea was to extract insulin from the pancreas and inject it into patients. Another scientist, Dr. James Bertram Collip, perfected the extract, and Banting and Best tried it out on diabetic dogs.
When the dogs’ blood sugar levels dropped, Banting and Best knew their experiment was a success. They tried the insulin on humans with diabetes, and the results were dramatic! Soon, patients from near and far were travelling to Toronto to try out this “miracle” treatment. Today, insulin has helped millions around the world.