Hypersecretion of insulin increases the chance of the incidence of diabetes type I and II, while inhibiting insulin secretion helps prevent diabetes. Trace elements like zinc and vanadium prevent hyperinsulinemia, partly because of their own insulin activity, which is also a property of interleukin-1 (IL-1), particularly during periods of illness and stress. Like vanadium, IL-1 can replace insulin for many hours and regulate glucose metabolism. Vanadium, zinc and IL-1 ensure that insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas do not lose too much zinc, which leaves the beta-cells together with insulin. Zinc forms a complex with metallothionein in beta-cells that provides protection against free (oxygen) radicals, which become active during immune responses triggered by bacteria and viruses, for instance. In addition, zinc is the only non-toxic trace element in the body that regulates concentration-dependent immune responses on many levels. Avoiding deficiencies of trace elements will enable the reduction of the incidence of diabetes.