The parenteral use of insulin has obvious disadvantages; consequently, a method for the oral use of insulin would be valuable. The authors cited below show how frequently this attempt has been made and with what unsatisfactory results.
Harrison1 tried to administer insulin in alcoholic solution. He gave, by mouth, from 20 to 40 units of insulin, and seems to have obtained a fall in blood sugar in an occasional case. Similarly, Winter2 administered insulin in a 20 per cent alcoholic solution by mouth (stomach tube) to rabbits. He, too, observed a drop of the blood sugar in some instances (rabbits, also in man).
Sansum, Blatherwick and others3 concluded, after repeated trials of administration by mouth, that insulin was efficient by the hypodermic route only. Orally they gave as much as twenty-five times the subcutaneous dose to patients and to experimental animals. Murlin, Sutter, Allen and Piper4 gave large amounts of
MILLER HR. THE USE OF INSULIN BY MOUTH. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1926;38(6):779-784. doi:10.1001/archinte.1926.00120300096008