Early treatment of insulin deficient patients was feeding them fresh pancreas and pancreas extracts. Theses treatments were ineffective as the insulin was destroyed by the digestive tract. Banting was intrigued by this disease and eagerly began to search for a way to provide the body with insulin to allow sugar into cells. All cells except brain cells have insulin receptors. (Nobelprize.org)
As an early graduate from University of Toronto (1916), Banting was excited to take part in the war effort but his poor eyesight had him rejected from the army twice. Not to be easily discouraged he re-applied and was accepted into the Canadian Medical Corps. After returning from the war, and gaining valuable field experience, Banting struggled to maintain patients and ran into difficult financial struggles. He began to paint watercolours to make extra money but no one expressed interest.
Toronto General Hospital, January 23, 1922 Charles Best and Frederick Banting injected a fourteen year old boy, who was dying from diabetes, with purified ox pancreas secretions. The boy recovered well, this seemed proof enough for many.
In 1923 Frederick Banting and John James Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their world changing discovery and ground breaking medical research.
Banting died when his plane from Newfoundland crashed on its was to Britain. He was excited to become part of top secret military research and bacterial warfare for the Canadian Military. Some see this “accident” as a conspiracy, but no one knows for sure.