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Lee Witters discusses the discovery of insulin

One early prescription for diabetes involved drinking a pint and a half of milk for breakfast, eating rancid meat for dinner, and using hog's lard as skin lotion. Actually, explains Dr. Lee Witters, this treatment did some good simply by causing patients to eat less (no one likes rancid meat, after all).

The discovery of insulin, which paved the way for more effective diabetes treatments, was one of the great advances in medical history, and it makes for quite a story. In this video (link below), Witters discusses diabetes in ancient societies, the first descriptions of the disease, the medical revolution that resulted from isolating insulin, and much more.

This video is a web-extra to an article that appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of Dartmouth Medicine. To read the article, click here.

The lecture in the video was originally delivered as a session in the Dartmouth Community Medical School (DCMS) and is presented as a Dartmouth Medicine web-extra with the kind permission of the DCMS. For more information about the Dartmouth Community Medical School, click here.


  • Lee Witters discusses the discovery of insulin

    Note that this video is 57 minutes long, so it will take a while to load. And once it has loaded, note that it starts with some music and works of art by performers and artists who have suffered from diabetes; the lecture itself doesn't begin until several minutes into the video.
Dr. Lee Witters
Dr. Lee Witters

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