Hangzhou, China—Zinc supplementation may improve glycemic control for diabetes prevention and management, according to a meta-analysispublished in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers looked at 32 placebo-controlled interventions, involving a total of 1700 participants in 14 countries. Subjects in the zinc-supplementation group, when compared to their control groups, had a statistically significant reduction in fasting glucose, in postprandial glucose after two hours, in fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance, glycated hemoglobin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

The researchers wrote in their conclusion: “The results of our meta-analysis indicate that zinc supplementation has beneficial effects with respect to glycemic control in diabetics and in individuals with a high risk of developing diabetes… Taken together, these results indicate that zinc supplementation may be used as an adjunct therapy for preventing or managing diabetes.” Researchers noted that larger trials should be performed to help determine the ideal dose, duration, and formulation of the zinc intervention specific to each individual patient’s health status.

The researchers also point to a recent meta-analysis showed that zinc supplementation can significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations.