We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Recombinant Insulin?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Recombinant insulin is insulin produced with the use of recombinant DNA technology, where snippets of DNA are inserted into organisms to encourage them to produce medically useful proteins and other compounds. Using recombinant technology allows for large scale production of various pharmaceutical products, in addition to increasing quality control and limiting risks such as allergic reactions. The most widely produced form of recombinant insulin is recombinant human insulin, designed for use in people with insulin deficiencies.

People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin, or do not respond to the insulin produced in the body, and may need insulin therapy to manage their condition. Historically, pigs and cattle were used to produce insulin for medication. In addition to being time consuming, this process was also inefficient, and exposed people to risks of allergic reactions to the foreign insulin, as well as the risk of zoonotic diseases. Even when carefully inspected and controlled, insulin supplies could be contaminated by things like prions, rogue proteins linked with neurological disorders.

With recombinant insulin, organisms like bacteria, plants, or yeasts are harnessed to produce insulin. The organism is genetically modified to express insulin in large volumes, and then cultivated in a lab setting. Supplies of insulin can be quickly and easily purified and are identical to regular human insulin, avoiding the problems associated with cow and pig sources.

Products known as insulin analogs are functionally the same as regular insulin, but act in slightly different ways. Many analogs are designed to act very rapidly, allowing for quick administration of insulin and greater control over insulin levels in the body. Recombinant technology has allowed companies to tweak insulin formulations to develop recombinant insulin that will act in different ways inside the body to achieve various desired effects, from a rapidly spiking dose for a patient in crisis to a more conventional slow absorption.

Recombinant insulin products are readily available on the market under a variety of brand names. These medications are always identified as recombinant medications so people understand the source and production methods involved. While there are no known dangers associated with using recombinant insulin and the hormone is chemically identical, some consumers do not like the use of recombinant technology and may seek out medication from other sources, if it is available. In the case of analogs, a doctor can discuss why a specific analog was prescribed or recommended and provide information about any alternatives the patient may be able to choose instead.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.