The effects of marginal zinc deficiency and zinc supplementation on diabetes and the immune system in Zucker diabetic fatty rats
Rech, Leslie M.
MetadataShow full item record
Many of the symptoms of zinc deficiency and diabetes are the same, and are related to increased inflammation. Zinc supplementation may improve immunity and glycemic control, and reduce inflammation. The purpose of this study was to determine if marginal zinc deficiency (MZD) worsens and zinc supplementation (ZS) improves diabetes and immune parameters in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Male ZDF rats were fed MZD (4 mg Zn/kg diet), zinc control ([ZC], 30 mg Zn/kg diet), or ZS (300 mg Zn/kg diet) diet, and lean ZDF rats fed ZC diet for 8 weeks. Parameters of diabetes, inflammation, and immune cell proportions and function were assessed. Results showed that MZD may exacerbate diabetes but had little effect on the immune parameters, while ZS had little effect on diabetes but may worsen immune function. Overall, it is the balance between zinc deficiency and toxicity that is necessary for optimal health improvements.