Oral zinc therapy in diabetic neuropathy

J Assoc Physicians India. 1998 Nov;46(11):939-42.


The present double blind randomized study was conducted on 50 subjects; 20 age and sex matched healthy controls (Group--I); 15 patients of diabetes mellitus with neuropathy who received placebo for 6 weeks (Group--IIA); and 15 patients of diabetes mellitus with neuropathy who were given supplemental zinc sulphate (660 mg) for 6 weeks (Group--IIB). Serum zinc level, fasting blood sugar (FBS) and post prandial blood sugar (PPBS) levels and motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) were estimated on day 0 and after 6 weeks in all subjects. Serum zinc levels were significantly low (p < 0.001) in group IIA and IIB as compared to healthy controls (Group--I) at baseline. After 6 weeks the change in pre and post therapy values of FBS, PPBS and MNCV (median and common peroneal nerve) were highly significant (P = < 0.001) for group IIB alone with insignificant change (P = > 0.05) in group IIA. No improvement (P = > 0.05) in autonomic dysfunction was observed in either groups. Therefore, oral zinc supplementation helps in achieving better glycemic control and improvement in severity of peripheral neuropathy as assessed by MNCV.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / blood
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurologic Examination / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Zinc / blood
  • Zinc Sulfate / administration & dosage*


  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Zinc