Zinc plays a role in the synthesis and action of insulin in the body. Insulin, obviously, plays a critical role in diabetes. But does zinc, then, play a critical role in diabetes prevention? There’s no evidence of that, according to a review of the scientific literature published in January 2007 by the Cochrane Library, which found nothing to suggest that zinc supplementation is useful in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
After rejecting almost 200 clinical studies that did not meet their content and quality criteria for evaluation, the reviewers were left with only one study to examine. This study followed 56 normal, glucose-tolerant, obese women for four weeks, during which they were treated with either zinc or a placebo. The zinc was found to have no effect.
With only one study to go on, the reviewers concluded that there is no evidence of the usefulness of zinc supplementation in diabetes. On the other hand, they pointed out that there is simply no clinical evidence, period. They also noted that laboratory research does show that zinc promotes the production and action of insulin. Clearly, there is need for further clinical study on the subject.
Source: The Cochrane Library Journal