21 February- Frederick Banting Diabetes

Frederick Banting was a Canadian physician who was the first person to use insulin to treat diabetes in humans. For his work Banting, with his colleague John Macleod, was the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923. Though insulin was like a miracle drug it did not cure diabetes. However it assists people with diabetes to lead an almost normal life and is one of the biggest discoveries in medicine.

Frederick Grant Banting was born in Alliston, Ontario, Canada on November 14th 1891. He studied medicine at the University of Toronto and graduated with and MB degree in 1916. He served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War I. He was wounded at Cambrai, France in 1918 and was later awarded the Military Cross.

Banting returned to Canada after the War. He worked in various medical posts and continued his medical studies. He was awarded an MD in 1922. He became interested in diabetes and was given facilities to carry out research at the University of Toronto.

Following successful experiments on animals, the first person to receive insulin was a 14-year old boy named Leonard Thompson in January 1922. Thompson was at the time extremely ill but he recovered rapidly. The testing was quickly expanded to other people suffering from diabetes. The results were positive. The discovery by Banting has led to millions of people suffering from diabetes to lead almost normal lives.

Frederick Banting, who was the first person to use insulin to treat diabetes in humans, died aged 49 in the year 1941 On This Day.

Banting House, Birthplace of Insulin, London, Ontario


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