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October 19, 1946


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Biochemistry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

JAMA. 1946;132(7):373-375. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870420013005

In the twenty-five years since the discovery of insulin, countless studies have been reported indicating one or another gross alteration in the metabolic processes of the diabetic animal and of the animal receiving insulin. Until relatively recently, however, those interested in the problem have despaired of finding a single valued, unitarian function of insulin, one particular operation that insulin performs in the animal that would account for the various observations in animals deprived of their physiologic source of insulin and in animals treated with insulin. Today there is a growing hope that the demonstration of such a single function is near at hand, and it is my purpose to indicate the nature of the evidence on which this hope is based.

The glucose of the body arises from several sources (see fig. 1). The first and major of these is the intestinal absorption of the products of carbohydrate digestion. The

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