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September 4, 2001

Complications

Question from Ohio, USA:

I am hearing that C-peptide may be useful in reducing occurrence of some complications of diabetes,. and I understand that C-peptide is a protein that our bodies make, but is removed in some way when producing injectable insulin. If it is a natural substance, why was this removed? Do we know what its function is? Is C-peptide something that must be replaced by injection or can it be absorbed and used by mouth? Do supplements that have ground pancreas also contain this protein? Could it hurt to take it as a supplement? Could this possibly be helpful in any way. I do not have a strong background in holistic medicine and tend to be skeptical of it. However with hearing there may be an important role for this C-peptide, I am curious to the benefits of this kind of supplements to intensive insulin therapy, if any.

Answer:

There was a flurry of interest in proinsulin, the original molecule which is cleaved into insulin and C-peptide. It seems to have lost favor, and no trials are in place that I know of that are evaluating C-peptide.

LD