Key points:  Zinc supplementation may help reduce oxidative stress for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) patients. Zinc is utilized in many biochemical systems, particularly cellular metabolism and oxidative stress pathways. This mineral plays a key role in eliminating oxidative stress as a cofactor for superoxide dismutase and supports a lowering of hyperglycemia by promoting phosphorylation of insulin receptors thus increasing glucose transport.

A literature review led by Kyria Jayanne Clímaco Cruz and published in World Journal of Diabetes in March 2015, looked at studies addressing oxidative stress in T2D and zinc supplementation. Patients with T2D often have high oxidative stress from increased free radicals and suppressed antioxidant activity. While there were many positive effects of zinc supplementation for reducing oxidative stress, this review revealed that there is still controversy about zinc supplementation for this population and further research is needed.

Research gaps include zinc metabolism shifts in diabetic patients and its effectiveness in reducing oxidative stress. Further research is also needed to better understand appropriate doses of supplementation and frequency. Researching potential ways to reduce oxidative stress and increase antioxidant activity is important to supporting future treatment protocols for T2D.

Why is this clinically relevant?

  • Zinc supplementation may play an important role in reducing oxidative stress for T2D
  • Further research is needed to understand the change in metabolism of zinc in diabetes
  • Treatments that address reducing oxidative stress and increasing antioxidant activity is important for supporting management of T2D patients

Reference: 

Antioxidant role of zinc in diabetes mellitus

 

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