Zinc and treatment of diabetes
Would you have thought that a mineral could have a role in the treatment of diabetes based on carbohydrate metabolism disorder?
Yet studies indicate that zinc may be definitely beneficial during the therapy of diabetes. Here are a few interesting findings from the summary of the results of several studies:
Regular zinc consumption can help reduce fasting blood sugar levels (after refraining from eating for 8 hours), blood sugar levels 2 hours after meals and the value of HbA1c, which provides feedback of frequently high blood sugar values. All these can help support long term “blood sugar control”, thus effectively fighting complications caused by high blood sugar levels.
The supplementation of zinc was also found beneficial to blood fat levels. Summarising the results, a convincing decrease was found in the levels of triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol, while the level of protective HDL-cholesterol did not increase. As diabetes is almost invariably followed by complications in the form of cardiovascular diseases, we can effectively prevent these diseases by maintaining the normal blood fat levels. In addition, the consumption of zinc has also been found effective in reducing blood pressure.
Appropriate zinc intake can also have a role in type 2 diabetes, providing protection against free radicals. This is also favourable as the complications of diabetes often include arteriosclerosis due to the fact that the disease causes a disorder not only in the metabolism of carbohydrates but also that of fats and proteins. On the other hand, antioxidants protect the walls of blood vessels, thus fighting against arteriosclerosis and vasoconstriction.
Combined with vitamins C and E and magnesium, zinc can also improve diabetic neuropathy. This is also a frequent complication of diabetes when nerves are also damaged (e.g. on the sole or the legs). This is why non-detected and then infected injuries are so typical.
The same combination can be useful to reduce protein loss by the urine indicating the damages of capillary vessels in the kidneys in case of diabetes patients.
The examined studies typically observed the effects of organically bound zinc in a daily dose of 30 mg.
Thanks to the development of natural sciences, we better and better understand the operation of our body and the nature of diseases. We already know that a simple and natural active agent, such as zinc, which was already known to be an excellent antioxidant, can be a useful part of diabetes therapy.
Source: Effects of zinc supplementation on diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis - Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 212