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June 24th, 2018
Beaches Living Guide Fall/Winter 2017/18


1921: Discovery of Insulin Makes Medical History

Before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a feared disease with no cure. But in 1921, Canadian doctor Frederick Banting and a medical student named Charles H. Best discovered the hormone insulin in the pancreatic extracts of dogs. At a lab set up at the University of Toronto by professor J.J.R. Macleod, Banting and Best injected the hormone into a dog and found that it lowered high blood glucose levels to normal.

The discovery was one of the most important milestones in medical history. In 1923 the Nobel Committee awarded Banting and Macleod (the professor supervising the work) the Nobel Prize for their work. Banting was upset that Best was excluded but Canadians remember "Banting and Best" remain our insulin heroes.

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