Zinc and insulin sensitivity

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1992 Jan-Mar:32:305-10. doi: 10.1007/BF02784615.


Many studies have shown that zinc deficiency could decrease the response to insulin. In genetically diabetic animals, a low zinc status has been observed contrary to induced diabetic animals. The zinc status of human patients depends on the type of diabetes and the age. Zinc supplementation seems to have beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis. However, the mechanism of insulin resistance secondary to zinc depletion is yet unclear. More studies are therefore necessary to document better zinc metabolism in diabetes mellitus, and the antioxidant activity of zinc on the insulin receptor and the glucose transporter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Insulin
  • Zinc