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Zinc may help in controlling blood sugar levels

Category: Diabetes

Higher levels of zinc may help individuals who have type 2 diabetes improve their HbA1c test scores, as a new study published in the Journal of Molecular Biology has found that the mineral is key in preventing the accumulation of molecules that prevent the production of insulin.

Amylin normally plays a role in regulating the activity of the beta cells of the pancreas, which produce insulin. However, researchers from the University of Michigan showed that when a person has too little zinc in their system, amylin molecules tend to clump together. This interferes with the activity of beta cells and eventually leads to insufficient levels of insulin.

The researchers described the role of zinc as similar to that of a security guard at a concert. When it is present everything runs smoothly, but when it is absent groups form and things get unruly.

Blood sugar levels rise when a person does not have enough insulin, which regulates glucose levels. This can be a problem because persistently high levels of sugar in the blood can damage tissue and lead to complications like kidney damage, loss of vision and cardiovascular disease.

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