Zinc Update: A meta-analysis: Zinc supplementation as an adjunct therapy for managing and preventing diabetes |
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Zinc Update: A meta-analysis: Zinc supplementation as an adjunct therapy for managing and preventing diabetes

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The assumed effects of zinc supplementation on glycemic control are lacking, even though several studies have shown that low zinc status is associated with diabetes. The main objective of this meta-analysis of controlled and randomized trials is to evaluate the effects of zinc supplementation in managing and preventing diabetes.

Articles were searched from PubMed, Cochrane Library and Embase that were published through February 10, 2019 and contained evaluations for the results. The combined results were then analysed by using a random-effects model.

32 placebo-controlled interventions trials were extracted from 36 publications, which involved a total of 1700 participants from 14 countries. The participants in the zinc-supplementation group were compared with their respective control group. It showed a significant reduction in fasting glucose levels, as follows weighted mean difference (WMD): -14.15 mg/dL; -10.93 mg/dL], 2-h postprandial glucose (WMD: -36.85 mg/dL; -11.65 mg/dL), homeostasis model evaluation for insulin resistance (WMD: -0.73; -0.24), fasting insulin (WMD: -1.82 mU/L; -0.54 mU/L), glycated hemoglobin (WMD: -0.55%; -0.27%), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (WMD: -1.31 mg/L; -0.56 mg/L) concentrations. Also, analyses of subgroups showed that the effects of zinc supplementation on fasting glucose levels are significantly influenced by diabetic status and the zinc supplement formulation.

The meta-analysis concluded that several key glycemic indicators are considerably reduced by zinc supplementation, predominantly the fasting glucose in participants with diabetes and in participants who also received an inorganic zinc supplement. The findings supported the opinion that zinc supplementation might have clinical potential as an adjunct therapy for managing and preventing diabetes.

Source: Wang X, Wu W, Zheng W, et al. Zinc supplementation improves glycemic control for diabetes prevention and management: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Jul 1;110(1):76-90. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz041. PMID: 31161192.

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