is a key regulator of the body's metabolism. It is produced by the ‘islets of
Langerhans’ of the pancreas. The beta cells produce insulin. Other hormone
produced by pancreas is Glucagon, which has the exact opposite effect as
insulin. Insulin is a polypeptide chain.
Insulin rises to its peak level within 10-minutes of food consumption. Insulin
then enables glucose and amino acids to enter cells in the body, particularly muscle
and liver cells. Here, insulin and other hormones direct whether these
nutrients will be burned for energy or stored for future use.
(The brain and nervous system are not dependent on
insulin; they regulate their glucose needs through other mechanisms.)
Insulin also checks the production of glucose by the liver. When insulin levels
are high, the liver stops producing glucose and stores it in other forms until
the body needs it again. As blood glucose levels reach their peak, the pancreas
reduces the production of insulin. About two to four hours after a meal both
blood glucose and insulin are at low levels, with insulin being slightly
higher. The blood glucose levels are then referred to as fasting blood glucose