CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Journal of Social Health and Diabetes 2017; 05(02): 83-87
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1676241
Review Article
NovoNordisk Education Foundation

Role of zinc in insulin regulation and diabetes

Resham Raj Poudel
Department of Internal Medicine, Western Reserve Health Education, Youngstown, OH, USA
Yuvaraj Bhusal
1   Department of Internal Medicine, BPK Institute of Health Science, Dharan, Nepal
Biswaraj Tharu
2   Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nisha Kusum Kafle
3   Department of Public Health, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 24 April 2017

Accepted: 02 May 2017

Publication Date:
23 November 2018 (online)


Zinc (Zn) affects glucose metabolism through insulin regulation and has potential implication in diabetes. Zn deficiency has not been proven in diabetes; however, observations of hyperzincuria, hypozincemia, and Zn malabsorption in diabetes indicate additional requirements for Zn. Mutation in Zn transporter 8 – a key protein in insulin secretion – has been associated with Type 2 diabetes. Zn supplementation in prediabetics and diabetics has been supported to improve plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and lipids and potentially improve insulin sensitivity, reduce oxidative stress, and protect from renal damage.

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