Sunday, 21 May 2017


Our favourite Canadian things list is full of Canadian innovation, but no item on the list has the strong personal connection to the Real Man Travels crew than insulin. This is because Real Man Travels finds its roots in Alliston, Ontario, where insulin co-founder Dr. Frederick Banting was born. He remains Alliston's proudest son, with his birthplace enshrined as a historic monument on the outskirts of town.

Insulin is a life-saving treatment for diabetes, a condition that causes high blood sugar due to either the inability of the body to naturally produce insulin or the body not responding properly to insulin that is produced.

Dr. Banting, working with Drs. Charles Best, J.J.R McLeod and James Collip, developed the method of isolating insulin from dogs, and later calves and pigs, for use in humans. The resulting product was called a miracle in its time, effectively treating a disease that before was a death sentence.  The good doctors are credited with giving all rights to their patented product to the University of Toronto so that income generated could be used for research.

Insulin is now procured from genetically-engineered bacteria but the treatment remain relatively unchanged.

Banting received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and remains the youngest person to have ever received the honor. He was also knighted by King George V.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here


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