May 28, 2022

New study investigates the effect of zinc supplementation on blood glucose levels in type II diabetes

Insulin resistance is preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress management. Weight loss and exercise are the best treatments for restoring the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are a significant health care problem in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people. Up to 15% of patients cannot take metformin because of kidney damage risks.

There are many different cofactors that can improve dysglycemia such as zinc, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, and vanadium.

According to a study published last month, researchers investigated the effect of zinc supplementation on blood glucose levels in different age groups of type II diabetes.

This randomized placebo-control trial included 144 diabetic patients. All the participants were randomly divided into Group 1 (zinc 20 mg/day) and Group 2 (control group with placebo). Each group was further divided into two age categories: category 1 (30-50 years of age) and category 2 (51-70 Years of age). Data collection included demographic data, anthropometric measurements, and a 24-h dietary recall. Laboratory assessment consisted of fasting glucose levels, HbA1C, and serum zinc levels taken at baseline and at the end of the study 60 days later. 

As a result, final fasting glucose levels were significantly lowered in the zinc supplementation group compared to placebo, however, the results were significant in the older age group (51-70 years). A similar trend was also found in the HbA1c, serum zinc levels and the BMI of the participants. These results demonstrate a better response to zinc supplementation among aged patients as compared to younger group, suggesting possible higher zinc demands with advanced age.

Inositol is another nutrient that should also be considered for patients with diabetes.

Inositol acts as second messenger which regulates several hormones such as thyroid stimulating hormone and insulin.

Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in patients with insulin resistance. There appears to be a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods which is a distinctive characteristic feature of insulin resistance. As a result, the nutritional requirements of these patients may not be met by a simple change in the diet and that inositol should be viewed as a conditionally essential nutrient in these individuals.

Since diabetes is an increased risk factor for cognitive decline, other nutrients such as phosphatidylserine, GPC, and acetyl-l-carnitine are important. Phosphatidylserine is an essential brain nutrient that has been shown to improve the brain’s energy consumption of glucose.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Aslam M, Bashir S, et al. Effect of zinc supplementation on blood glucose level in different age groups of diabetes type 2. Nutr Health. 2022 Mar 29; 2601060221088382.