A polypeptide hormone secreted by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas to regulate the concentration of carbohydrates in blood by promoting metabolism of glucose
Insulin is released when glucose concentration in blood is high (e.g. following an intake of carbohydrate-rich diet). Insulin regulates the concentration of glucose and other sugars circulating in blood by stimulating the uptake of glucose by cells in liver, skeletal muscles and fat tissues.
The lack of or inadequate insulin production results in diabetes mellitus. Thus, insulin has also been prepared pharmacologically for use in managing diabetes.
Word origin: Latin insula ( islet of the pancreas) + -in