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Diabetes, metallothionein, and zinc interactions: A review *


Epidemiological evidence, associating diabetes with zinc (Zn) deficiencies, has resulted in numerous research studies describing the effects of Zn and associated metallothionein (MT), on reducing diabetic complications associated with oxidative stress. MT has been found to have a profound effect on the reduction of oxidative stress induced by the diabetic condition. Over expression of MT in various metabolic organs has also been shown to reduce hyperglycaemia-induced oxidative stress, organ specific diabetic complications, and DNA damage in diabetic experimental animals, which have been further substantiated by the results from MT-knockout mice. Additionally, supplementation with Zn has been shown to induce in vivo MT synthesis in experimental animals and to reduce diabetes related complications in both humans and animal models. Although the results are promising, some caution regarding this topic is however necessary, due to the fact that the majority of the studies done have been animal based. Hence more human intervention trials are needed regarding the positive effects of MT and Zn before firm conclusions can be made regarding their use in the treatment of diabetes.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-31-2009
Authors: Md. Shahidul Islam1, Du Toit Loots1
Source: BioFactors Volume 29, Number 4 / 2007, p. 203-212