It is present in very small quantity in normal urine, in the blood, and in larger quantities in diabetic patients.
The transplantation of a piece of living pancreas into the tissues of an animal, thus rendered artificially diabetic, is said to restore it to health.
It forms a valuable treatment in diabetic coma and eclampsia, acting by diluting the toxins in the blood.
Hence it is of the utmost importance to avoid the use of salts of this metal whenever it is necessary - as in diabetic coma - to increase the alkalinity of the blood rapidly.
In the animal kingdom it occurs in the urine of diabetic patients and of persons addicted to alcohol.