Can Zinc Improve Glucose Levels For Diabetics? – DIABETIC SOCK CLUB

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Can Zinc Improve Glucose Levels For Diabetics?

Zinc, as a mineral, is as abundant as they come. This metallic element makes up items such as coins, furniture, batteries, and electronic gadgets. Considering that it is present in many valuable items, it should make you wonder about its importance for the human body. 

Zinc is one of the most prevalent minerals in the body, but we do not have a storage system to hold it. What this means is that you have to constantly replenish yourself with proper zinc intake to maintain the optimum levels in the body. 

This also means that it is very easy to become deficient in zinc, which can ultimately lead to a barrage of different complications, especially if you are diabetic. The manifestation of these problems is quite evident, and some correlate to their impact on the body’s glucose levels.

Is Zinc Good for Diabetes?

Zinc is an integral part of human anatomy. All of us have zinc as an essential element for the body’s processes. Zinc helps our bodies in many ways. One of which includes boosting immunity. Moreover, zinc also helps in the digestion, recovery of tissues and can act as an anti-inflammatory supplement as well. 

Therefore, there is no doubt that zinc is generally beneficial for the human body. Similarly, many studies point to its efficacy and benefits for diabetics. Established universities such as Harvard and other institutes have run several studies on applicants and found conclusive evidence in their blood reports that determine zinc as a supplementary aid for preventing the instance of diabetes.   

Hence, zinc can undoubtedly prevent diabetes from occurring. However, the question that lies is how good is zinc for someone who is already a diabetic. A study in Chile puts merit to this claim. This study involved giving zinc supplements to animals. 

After the animals consumed the supplements, their glucose levels showed a decrease. Therefore, many experts share the consensus on zinc being beneficial for diabetes. To many, zinc intake is the natural way of regulating blood sugar in the body. 

How is it Good for Diabetics?

The islet cells absorb a high concentration of zinc in the body. These cells make up the pancreas, which is the organ responsible for the production of insulin. Insulin is the natural chemical regulator of glucose in our bodies. 

Zinc, therefore, is instrumental in the development and health of the islet cells, which in turn ensure the regulatory function of the pancreas. In other words, one of the benefits of having adequate zinc in your system is that your body will produce insulin seamlessly and efficiently. This means that your body will respond swiftly to the blood glucose level. 

This is one way the consumption of zinc can possibly help diabetics control their glucose levels. It is also why the mineral can help prevent the emergence of diabetes from happening in someone that is susceptible to it. 

Zinc acts similarly to insulin. It binds to the insulin receptors, which then trigger the insulin to signal pathways and give rise to the glucose uptake by the cells. This uptake of glucose decreases the level of glucose in the blood. 

It is hence essential for the adequate secretion, absorption, processing, and storage of insulin. Moreover, it also helps protect you against the loss of Beta cells that mark a hallmark for type 2 diabetes. Zinc deficiency can often correlate to diabetes. 

Many surveys and studies show that diabetics are more likely to be zinc deficient. Furthermore, zinc levels also have plenty to do with insulin resistance. For instance, a person that is zinc deficient will be more resistant to insulin than someone with high zinc levels in their blood. 

Therefore, in many ways, it is fair to say that if you have a good zinc intake, it is entirely possible that it will put you at a lower risk of developing diabetes.  

Antioxidant Effects 

Zinc encompasses many antioxidant effects. Diabetic patients often go through oxidative stress, and zinc supplements can often help reduce oxidative damage in people suffering. 

Lipid Metabolism 

Lipid metabolism is an important process of the human body. When the body does not metabolize lipid in the body, this can lead to an increase in cholesterol in the diabetic person. This is where zinc supplements can help. Their amazing qualities help in regulating lipid metabolism in the body. This, in turn, helps the body improve its cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. 

How to Tell If you are Zinc Deficient?

Anyone can be zinc deficient without knowing it. Many people live their whole lives dealing with health concerns and not knowing that a simple zinc intake can sort them all out. You must be aware of all the things that point to a possible zinc-related problem. 

Zinc is a unique element that is responsible for thousands of enzymatic functions within the body. Most of the time, minerals such as zinc are involved in the creation of new cells; however, zinc is actually involved in multiple enzymatic functions. These involve the breaking down of food, triggering new cell growth, and so forth. 

Signs and Symptoms

Hair Loss 

Hair loss is one symptom that you might see manifesting in someone with zinc deficiency. Since zinc plays an important role in creating new cells, lower levels of zinc can actually result in hair loss. Hair growth is one process that requires the constant building of new cells, so anything that turns over very fast will have an effect on the decrease of zinc. 

In other words, hair cells need to regenerate fast in order to stay healthy, along with other types of cells in the body, such as immune cells and intestinal cells. Thus, if you are low on zinc levels, your body will not distribute the zinc equally to all regenerative processes and prioritize other processes instead of the hair. As a result, you can start losing your hair. 

Tastelessness 

Our taste buds have a very short half-life, and they die off, and new ones regenerate every other week or so. This recycling process is another one that requires the constant building of new cells. If you are deficient in zinc, then your body reprioritizes and sacrifices your taste buds for more important processes such as the immune systems and digestive process. 

Like hair loss, the body identifies taste bud generation as the less critical of the process, and so the two are initial warning signs of low zinc levels. Another thing that low levels of zinc will affect similarly is muscle mass. 

Diarrhea 

People deficient in zinc can also face diarrhea. The issue with this symptom is that once diarrhea starts, then you end up losing even more minerals, and the levels of zinc drop further. This means that you have to replenish it even more. 

Low Testosterone 

Limiting your Zinc intake can also progressively decrease your testosterone levels. Studies that test this hypothesis, which made it clear that zinc levels in the body do, in fact, help with the increase in testosterone levels. 

Where Can You Get Zinc Naturally?

Zinc intake can help metabolize food and generate new cells in the body. For someone that is zinc deficient, they can change their diet to regain some of the benefits they have been lacking. Certain natural foods are incredibly high in zinc, and turning to them can help improve your health over time.

Pumpkin Seeds 

Pumpkin seeds are incredibly healthy. Not only is their zinc profile incredibly high, but they also help in the prevention of prostate cancer. Like the fruit itself, they also have qualities that help boost immunity. To get the most zinc intake from pumpkin seeds, you will have to consume them in their raw form. Some people like to roast them in preparation for consumption. However, this will deplete them of their nutritional value.

Dark Chocolate 

The key ingredient of dark chocolate, cocoa powder, has a good amount of zinc. Thus, in the right amount, having dark chocolate can help you get your daily intake of zinc. One hundred grams of dark chocolate can have approximately 9.6 mg of zinc.

Garlic 

Garlic is high in nutritional value. Along with other nutrients, it can also provide you with a moderate amount of zinc. Moreover, you can incorporate this ingredient rather easily in all of your meals.

Seafood 

Most seafood is incredibly high in zinc. Therefore, if you are someone that has good access to fresh seafood, then switching up your diet can be very helpful. Foods such as seaweed and shellfish are ones that can provide you with plenty of zinc intake. 

Conclusion

Now that you know how zinc can help regulate glucose levels and are aware of its importance, you should start looking for the mineral in your food. Zinc does not store in the blood and is one of the few minerals that you have to actively try to replenish by either resorting to supplements or natural foods. Before you start making those changes, it is important that you consult the doctor, especially if you are a diabetic. Continue learning more about diabetes news, tips, updates, here at Diabetic Sock Club.

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