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