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Other Non-Diabetic Uses of Insulin

        Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) is unique in the world.  But it is not alone.  Insulin does many things in the body, and over the past 79 years people have come up with many ways to use it.   Of course, treatment of diabetes is  the only one that is generally known to the public.  However, the many non-diabetic uses of insulin help support the credibility of the positive reports of the IPT doctors.  The diversity of these approaches is amazing.  I am sure that a comprehensive review of the literature will uncover many more that are little known or forgotten.  I also believe that by looking at many of these other approaches, we can spin new ideas for ways to improve IPT and extend it.

Here are the non-diabetic uses of insulin that I have run into during my years of involvement with IPT:

  1. Intravenous feeding solutions (for total parenteral nutrition).  One of the ingredients used in IV solutions for feeding the body is often a small amount of insulin.  This is known to improve the absorption of nutrients.  And insulin combined with growth hormone or insulin-like growth hormone (which insulin cross-reacts with) reverses negative protein balance.

  2. Intravenous GIK solution (glucose, insulin, and potassium) has been used for 40 years to decrease mortality rates in cases of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and postoperative cardiac failure.  Articles.  In very high doses, it is sometimes used to cause cardiac arrest for purposes of heart surgery or transplantation.  Apparently GIK infusion  is a way to quickly infuse potassium into all the cells of the heart, even where circulation is impaired.  My question:  would K infusion work even better if the insulin were given first, with the glucose and potassium delayed a few minutes?

  3. Weight regulation.  I have read that in the early years of insulin availability, it was marketed by Lilly for both weight loss and weight gain.  This may be what sparked Dr. Perez Garcia 1's original interest in insulin.

  4. Bodybuilding.  Insulin has been discovered by bodybuilders.  They know it as "the most anabolic hormone", and a few are injecting themselves with about 10 units of insulin, followed by at least 100 gm of carbohydrates, usually after exercise so that insulin combined with growth hormone will enhance muscle growth rather than fat.  This is a very dangerous practice, and could lead to death if sufficient carbohydrates are not consumed in time.  
    See this article.  

  5. Dialysis shock recovery.  A kidney dialysis nurse once told me that in her clinic they had found that a little bit of insulin added to an elecrolyte solution helped patients absorb electrolytes quickly to recover from dialysis shock.

  6. Cell culture.  Insulin is used as an essential growth promoter for mammalian cell cultures in the laboratory .

  7. Organ preserving solution.  There are several recipes used for making solution to preserve organs for transplantation, and I am told that insulin is an important ingredient in at least some and perhaps all of them.   Among other things, the insulin may be increasing cell wall permeability, and helping cells under stress absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins.

  8. Cola drinks.  I believe that they may be seen as drug delivery systems.  The sugar content increases insulin secretion in the body, which may boost caffeine transport across the blood-brain barrier and absorption into cells of the nervous system.

  9. Sport drinks (including Gatorade ), and oral rehydration solution (water, sugar, and electrolytes).  Sugars in these drinks increase insulin secretion in the body, which speeds absorption of water and electrolytes into all the cells of the body.

  10. Therapy for poisoning by severe calcium channel blocker overdose.  A mixture of insulin and glucose may greatly increase survival from this type of poisoning.  (J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1999;37(4):463-74)  Many other detoxification applications may exist for acute and chronic poisoning.

  11. Insulin coma therapy.  From the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, this was common in psychiatric treatment of schizophrenia and depression.   It was discovered in Germany, and spread to the US with emigration of psychiatrists before World War II.  A moderate amount of insulin was given, enough to restrict glucose supply to the brain, causing shock, coma, and convulsions.  Electroconvulsive therapy mostly replaced it in the 1950s through 80s.  Interestingly, the therapy apparently still persists in Germany, although less insulin is now given, coma is avoided, and it is called "modified insulin therapy".  There are fairly recent reports of remarkable success in treatment of schizophrenia (Nervenarzt. 1994 Nov;65(11):769-73) and depression (Psychiatr. Prax. 1995 Mar;22(2):64-7).  Not being aware of IPT results in Mexico and Canada, psychiatrists have apparently missed out on the benefits of adding medication and nutrients during a mild controlled pulse of hypoglycemia, IPT.

  12. Reversal of Fortune -- the book and the movie.    "Insulin?  My lady is not a diabetic!"  -- line spoken in the movie by the personal maid of socialite Sunny von Bulow.    Mrs. von Bulow has been in a in a permanent coma since her uncontrolled and medically unsupervised insulin shock in December, 1980.     Her husband Claus was convicted of murder, and then acquitted on appeal in two notorious trials in 1982.  Some people have speculated about attempted suicide.  The real story has remained a mystery.  Here is a third  hypothesis:  Is it possible that Sunny von Bulow was experimenting by herself with insulin, trying to potentiate medications?    Maybe her peaceful comatose state, now almost 20 years long, is actually a stern warning to anyone who thinks of trying such an unwise and dangerous experiment:   Don't try this at home.

  13. Insulin-induced hypoglycemic treatment (IHT).   In this four-hour technique, the patient is given a moderate amount of insulin, enough to sleep for one hour due to restriction of glucose supply to the brain.  This is similar to the coma induced in the old insulin coma therapy.  Interestingly, this method was developed when patients who were depressed by their cancer diagnosis underwent insulin coma therapy for psychiatric reasons, and then found their cancer had gone into remission.   During IHT, the doctor keeps blood sugar low, blood pH high, and blood oxygen high, all of which help to suppress tumors.  The patient usually sweats a lot, which  may help detoxify the body.  http://www.biopulse.com   This therapy may have some of the benefits seen in IPT, but the treatments are more intense and take longer, and more may be needed.  IPT appears to be quicker and gentler, combining milder hypoglycemia with administration of potentiated medications.

  14. Pallares GIK-magnetic method.  Another doctor in Mexico City, Demetrio Sodi Pallares  MD, has done significant research on improved EKG measurements and the use of  glucose-insulin-potassium (GIK) polarizing solution in cardiology.  An old friend has told me that Dr. Pallares has been getting good experimental results combining GIK with magnetic therapy for treatment of giant cell tumors.  Dr. Perez Garcia 3 tells me that Dr. Pallares got the idea for using insulin and glucose for transport and chemical balancing from Dr. Perez Garcia 1.   His method differs from IPT in that it does not use other medications, and it does not separate insulin and glucose in time.  So there is no therapeutic moment, when the cells are most receptive.

  15. Metabolic oncolytic regimen.  Anthony G. Payne, N.M.D., Ph.D., M.D. (hon.) describes a complex cancer treatment regimen  ("metabolic oncolytic regimen for effecting lysis in solid tumors") which includes, along with many nutrients, the self administration of 2-3 grams concentrated garlic or 5-15 units of insulin suspension [Isophane/slow-acting] injected intramuscularly approximately 30-45 minutes following the morning meal. He stresses the importance of using a glucometer to monitor glucose level in the blood during the day, and taking sugar-rich candy or drinks if hypoglycemia develops.  Giving credit to the Drs. Perez Garcia, he suggests  that this insulin will enhance cancer cell membrane permeability and will ensure adequate glucose supplies for normal cells.  The paper can be found at  http://www.all-natural.com/metabol.html  This is the only reference I can find to this process.

  16. Breast augmentation.  In the literature there is a report that insulin self-injected in the breasts of a diabetic woman augmented their size.  (Harman-Boehm I, Boehm R: Diabetes Care 12(8):597-598, 1989.)   Further research would have to be done before this could be recommended.  I would be concerned about possible increased breast cancer risk.

  17. Topical PZI Insulin.  In 1977, Hal Huggins DDS published a paper reporting his rediscovery of a flurry of work on nondiabetic use of insulin in the US in the 1920s and 1930s.  A postal club of 62 physicians and two dentists shared their experiences and theories in an intensive correspondence by mail.   (This kind of group was the snail-mail equivalent of today's email list.)  Several papers were published.  Typically, these men would inject 3 units of PZI  (protamine zinc insulin), a slow-acting form of insulin, or they would apply it topically.  They noticed improvements in tumors, gum infections, ear problems, skin problems, and other conditions.  In their view, it was ectodermal tissues (developed from the outer layer of the embryo) that were most readily affected by insulin.  This would include the skin, all the sense organs, and the nervous system.  

            Huggins summarized his own experience: "Increased cellular efficiency is the best overall description of the action of PZI. Clinical improvements can be expected in healing, toxic reactions, increased circulation, blood pressure, migraine headaches, periodontal disease, endodontics, infection and pain control."   Working together, he proposes, the zinc and the insulin increase vascularization and cell permeability, and the zinc reduces pain.  With topical application and shallow injection, he reports more rapid healing of surgical wounds, traumatic injuries, slow-healing fractures, burns, poison ivy, gangrene, frostbite, and wisdom tooth extractions.  He also reports improvements in cases of high blood pressure,  chronic fatigue, and many viral and bacterial infections.  

            Apparently Huggins got other physicians interested in nondiabetic uses of insulin for a while.  And then this revival faded, too, and was forgotten.  My theory is that it is because information did not get out far and fast enough, and because the insulin manufacturers did not choose to encourage this market for their product.    Although topical application and shallow injection of slow insulin clearly shows promise, the relative advantage of IPT is that it delivers medications and the benefits of insulin to every organ and cell in the body, in an elegantly simple and brief procedure.


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