Vitamin D supplementation modulates blood and tissue zinc, liver glutathione and blood biochemical parameters in diabetic rats on a zinc-deficient diet

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Sep;148(3):371-7. doi: 10.1007/s12011-012-9383-z. Epub 2012 Mar 14.


Previous studies suggest a protective effect of vitamin D3 on zinc deficiency-induced insulin secretion and on pancreas β-cell function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of vitamin D on blood biochemical parameters, tissue zinc and liver glutathione in diabetic rats fed a zinc-deficient diet. For that purpose, Alloxan-induced diabetic rats were divided into four groups. The first group was fed a zinc-sufficient diet while the second group was fed a zinc-deficient diet. The third and fourth groups received zinc-sufficient or zinc-deficient diets plus oral vitamin D3 for 27 days. At the end of the experiment, blood, femur, pancreas, kidney and liver samples were taken from all rats. The serum, femur, pancreas, kidney and liver zinc concentrations, liver glutathione, serum alkaline phosphatase activity, daily body weight gain and food intake were lower in the zinc-deficient rats in comparison with those receiving adequate amounts of zinc. These values were increased in the zinc-deficient group that was supplemented with vitamin D3. The serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, total protein, urea, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase and blood glucose values were higher in rats fed a zinc adequate diet, but their concentrations were decreased by vitamin D3 supplementation. The serum total protein levels were not changed by zinc deficiency and vitamin D3 supplementation. These results suggest that vitamin D3 modulates tissue zinc, liver glutathione and blood biochemical values in diabetic rats fed a zinc-deficient diet.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc / blood*
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Glutathione
  • Zinc