The soothing shot

Published: Thursday 29 February 1996

Insulin, the pancreas-produced hormone that prevents diabetes when given intravenously to patients with severe burns, speeds up the healing process (New Scientist, Voll48, No 2006).

In the case of severe burns, the stress hormones that are released break down the body's sugar reserves, releasing large amounts of sugar in the blood stream. This in turn hampers the immune system's ability to clear dead cells and heal the wounds. Insulin reverses this effect by regulating the breaking down of sugar.

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