Lipid peroxidation in insulin-dependent diabetic patients with early retina degenerative lesions: effects of an oral zinc supplementation

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Apr;49(4):282-8.


Design: Placebo for 3 months, followed by 30 mg/day zinc gluconate in identical capsules.

Setting: Diabetic out patients clinic at the University Hospital, Grenoble.

Subjects: Diabetic patients cared for type I diabetes mellitus. 22 patients began the study, 4 dropped out. 10 patients suffered of an early retinopathy, 8 patients had no retinopathy.

Interventions: In this order: T0 biological measurements, 3 months placebo treatment, T1 biological measurements, 3 months zinc gluconate treatment, T2 biological measurements. Plasma Zn, Cu, Se, thiobarbituric acid reactants and antioxidant enzymes were measured [plasma and red glutathione peroxidase (Se-GPx), red cell superoxide dismutase (Cu-Zn-SOD)].

Results: Lower plasma zinc level in the two groups. An increase in zinc level was observed and was more important in diabetic patients with no retinopathy (P = 0.05). The thiobarbituric acid reactants were above the reference values in all the patients, and were decreased at T2 (P < 0.05). Increase of GPx activity after zinc supplementation in patients with retinopathy.

Conclusions: Zinc deficiency in insulin-dependent diabetic patients is corrected by a zinc supplementation. Moreover this supplementation decreases lipid peroxidation. The effects of zinc are different in diabetic patients with or without retinopathy. The increase in Se-GPx activity observed in patients with retinopathy could be linked to the protective effect of zinc on the protein itself.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Copper / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / blood
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gluconates / therapeutic use
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Male
  • Selenium / blood
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Thiobarbiturates / blood
  • Zinc / blood


  • Gluconates
  • Thiobarbiturates
  • Copper
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • thiobarbituric acid
  • gluconic acid