General English


  • noun a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates and has widespread effects on the body


  • noun a hormone produced by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas

Origin & History of “insulin”

Insulin, a hormone which promotes the utilization of blood sugar, was first isolated in 1921 by F G Banting and C H best. Its name, which was inspired by the fact that insulin is secreted by groups of cells known as the islets of Langerhans (insula is Latin for ‘island’), was actually coined in French around 1909, and was independently proposed in English on a couple of further occasions before the substance itself was anything more than a hypothesis.