Effects of Long-Term Use of Zinc and Vitamin C on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complications

Maryam K. Aruoah


The present study aims to use zinc and vitamin C supplements to treat diabetes mellitus disease and its complications, including diabetic foot ulcer, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is recognized as the most common endocrine disease worldwide. A progressive and aggressive disease, it is characterized by both hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia. Diabetic foot ulcer is a well-known complication of the disease, and it is the most common reason for lower limb amputation. Retinopathy is another diabetic complication, which leads to blindness. Moreover, diabetic nephropathy is the main cause of chronic kidney disease. Zinc is an antioxidant element and a cofactor for more than 300 important enzymes. It is also involved in many important physiological metabolic functions. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful dietary antioxidant. It is also essential for the physiological functioning of the body. Zinc and vitamin C are closely related to DM and its complications. Fifty diabetic patients were selected to receive 100 mg zinc oxide tablets and 1000 mg vitamin C tablets every day for six months. The doses were separated and given at specified times during the day. Thirty healthy individuals comprised the control group. Wound swab cultures and antibiotic sensitivity tests were performed for the diabetic foot ulcer patients prior to the supplements being taken. A significant decrease was observed in the patients’ fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, insulin hormone, urea, creatinine levels, blood pressure, and urination, while an improvement was seen in their lipid profile. Complete healing of the foot ulcers was achieved with blood flow signs and sensation and without the use of antibiotics in most cases. Clear improvements in visual acuity were also achieved. Indeed, type 2 DM is a metabolic disease that results from zinc deficiency, impairing insulin hormone production, secretion, and function. This causes an increase in fasting blood sugar, glycated hemoglobin, blood pressure, urination, and dyslipidemia. It also leads to the inability of vitamin C to enter the cells, followed by endothelial dysfunction, impaired blood flow, and ischemia, thereby leading to diabetic complications.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes mellitus, zinc, vitamin C, long-term complications, foot ulcer, retinopathy, nephropathy.




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