On this day
Charles Herbert Best was born on 27th February 1899. He was a scientist and co-discoverer of Insulin.
|(February 27, 1899 – March 31, 1978)|
Best was born in West Pembroke, Washington County, Maine and was the son of Luella Fisher and Herbert Huestis Best, Canadians from Nova Scotia.
Best married Margaret Hooper Mahon in Toronto in 1924 and they had two sons. One son, Dr. Henry Best was a well-regarded historian who later became president of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Best’s other son was Charles Alexander Best, a Canadian politician and geneticist.
As a 22-year-old medical student at the University of Toronto he worked as an assistant to Dr. Frederick Banting and played a major role in the discovery of the pancreatic hormone insulin—one of the more significant medical advances, enabling an effective treatment for diabetes.
Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood to skeletal muscles and fat tissue and by causing fat to be stored rather than used for energy.
When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes can result. Insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes depend on external insulin (most commonly injected) for their survival because the hormone is no longer produced internally. Patients with type 2 diabetes are often insulin resistant and may suffer from a “relative” insulin deficiency. Some patients with type 2 diabetes may eventually require insulin if dietary modifications or other medications fail to control blood glucose levels adequately. Over 40% of those with Type 2 diabetes require insulin as part of their diabetes management plan.
Best received 18 Honorary Degrees from universities around the world.
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