Zinc supplementation and insulin secretion in children
Lobene, Andrea Jeanette
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Many children in the US are not meeting the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc. Altered zinc status has been observed in prediabetic and diabetic individuals, and the incidence of type-2 diabetes is growing among children. Zinc is required for the maturation of insulin in beta cells, and its effect on insulin in children is uncertain. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of supplementation with 9 mg/d zinc over 4 weeks on insulin in healthy children (N = 147), and to determine if the effect differs by race. Serum insulin, glucose, and C-peptide were assessed, and homeostatic model assessment (HOMA2) was calculated. An increase in C-peptide was observed in the PL group, but not the ZN group, in blacks, but not whites (p=0.06). No changes were observed for HOMA2. Our results suggest 9 mg/d zinc may attenuate an increase in insulin secretion in black children, suggesting a potential role for zinc in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.