Are Diabetics Low in Zinc? How does Zinc affect Insulin?

Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting the body’s metabolism.

It is a health condition that adds extra problems and takes away a few of the good nutrients that keep the body healthy. This is often the case with the quantity of Zinc in the diabetic body.

Does it make you wonder …?

  • Are diabetics low in Zinc?
  • How does Zinc affect insulin?
  • How to increase Zinc in the body?
  • What foods provide Zinc to the body?
  • What are the benefits of Zinc in the body?

We will look at all these questions in detail and try to find proper answers and solutions for them. This will help you know better about your diabetic health conditions and make better choices when it comes to keeping healthy and controlled blood sugar levels.

Veggie causing Diabetes

So without any more ado, let us get started with answering the first question of today’s discussion. Here we go!

Are Diabetics low in Zinc?

Are Diabetics low in Zinc

With prevalent blood sugar imbalance and chronic metabolic conditions in the body, diabetic individuals may suffer from a lack of Zinc.

Diabetes is a reason that lowers the amount of Zinc in the body. It is bad for the health and affects many functions and systems of the body.

Diabetes is a condition where people are more vulnerable to developing a high blood sugar level. This is harmful to the body and is manifested through several discomforts and symptoms. Spiking blood glucose levels in the body can lead to many complications, and it is difficult to get rid of.


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One of the effects of rising blood sugar levels is the release of Zinc from the body through the urinary tract. This can cause other negative consequences in the body with diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar levels.

The excretion of Zinc from the body is similar to what happens with magnesium as well. Diabetic patients tend to lose considerable amounts of Zinc and magnesium through the urine due to high blood sugar ranges.

The deficiency of this nutrient – Zinc, in the body, results in many diabetes and other disturbances in the regular functioning of the body. This, in turn, can make the diabetic situations even more serious.

To understand why Zinc insufficiency can have a bad effect on the body, we have first to understand its importance for diabetics. Let us have a look.

Why is Zinc necessary for Diabetics?

Why is Zinc necessary for Diabetics

Zinc is derived from the everyday meals that we eat. It is needed to balance out the other nutrients and carry out many important functions in the body.

It is even more important to have a good supply of Zinc in the body for diabetics. This is why:

  • For diabetic patients, Zinc plays a more crucial role in managing blood sugar levels. The lack of Zinc may lead to diabetes, as observed and studies through many experiments. Therefore, Zinc deficiency can cause high blood sugars, and high blood sugars can also cause the depletion of Zinc.
  • Zinc in the body helps in keeping the amount of insulin in the body maintained. Insulin is a very necessary hormone in blood sugar management. It is essential to regulate the release and absorption of carbohydrates in sugar into the blood flow. The presence of Zinc helps inefficient metabolism through effective control of insulin functioning.
  • Zinc also provides the body with protection against several diseases and infections. Diabetic patients are always at a higher risk of catching ailments and infections. The regular symptom of any disease or discomfort is also felt heightened by diabetics. Zinc is one of the important nutrients that boost the overall body’s metabolism and prevents it from harm.
  • Zinc helps in enriching strength in the beta cells of the body. These are the cells responsible for keeping the immune system function and fighting against germs and disease-causing microbes.
  • Zinc is also known to help in reducing blood sugar levels. The studies of Zinc’s effects on the diabetic body have also determined that Zinc can lower blood sugar levels. It is an important function of this nutrient and a major one for anyone with diabetes.

There are many other ways that Zinc is useful to the body. We will have a deeper and detailed look at them in the comings sections. For now, let us see what the effects of Zinc on insulin are.

How does Zinc affect insulin levels and Diabetes?

How does Zinc affect insulin levels and Diabetes

Insulin, as we already mentioned, is an important hormone in the management of diabetes. Too much or too little of it can lead to metabolic disturbances, resulting in diabetes.

Insulin secretion and storage in the pancreas should be efficient to ensure safe diabetic maintenance. If insulin in the body is released in more than required amounts, it can cause low blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, too little insulin will give rise to excess sugar in the blood, eventually leading to spiking diabetic blood glucose ranges. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the insulin levels in the body stable.

Zinc is such a nutrient that stabilizes the release and controls the amounts of insulin in the body being produced and released. This is a necessary function, especially for individuals dealing with diabetes.

The formation of insulin depends a great deal on the beta cells of the pancreas. We have already talked about Zinc’s effects upon the maintenance of beta cells and keeping them active. This, in turn, contributes to the effective production of insulin.

It is also responsible for keeping the pancreas healthy, leading to proper secretion and storage of insulin. Storing the right amount and releasing the right amount of insulin into the body is the key concept in keeping the metabolic system under check.

Zinc helps stimulate and resist insulin at the right times, as per the needs of the body.

Moreover, we already learned that the availability of sufficient amounts of Zinc in the body could lower diabetic sugar levels and keep them under normal ranges. This is a necessity in the body and helps in maintaining insulin levels unaffected and away from disturbances.

Good levels of Zinc in the body also endorse fasting insulin and blood glucose levels.

Experts and doctors have also advised and brought out insulin medication with the presence of Zinc in them. This is helpful for the effective treatment of insulin disorders and diabetic conditions.

Hence, we can conclude that diabetics can suffer many negative effects due to the insufficiency of Zinc. It is responsible for keeping the body healthy and also in insulin production.

What are some ways we can include Zinc in the body to ensure a healthy and managed diabetic lifestyle? Let us have a look at some suggested ways.

How to include necessary Zinc in the body?

The daily necessity of Zinc for the body is around – 7 mg to 9 mg, depending on your age, gender, health state, body requirements, etc. If this limit is not met, it can cause potential diabetic discomforts and eventual dangers.

This regular amount of Zinc applies to the general population. But when it comes to diabetes patients, they need to have around 8 mg to 22 mg of Zinc in a day.

It is hence suggested by experts to include zinc supplements in the body. Having medicines that enrich the body with Zinc can assist you in fulfilling your daily zinc needs.

Besides, there are several foods and natural ways to increase the total quantity of Zinc in the body and meet your daily requirements. Let us discuss what these foods are.

Which foods supply the body with Zinc, that are safe for Diabetes?


Apart from taking zinc supplements in the form of tablets, we can also resort to foods that are higher in Zinc.

Including natural and more organic foods is always better than relying on medicinal supplements. There are plenty of vegetables and fruits that can provide good nourishment and enrich the body with Zinc.

Here is a list of some foods that you can have to add Zinc, if you have diabetes:

Sl. No.Food items %DV of Zinc
2.Flax, hemp, pumpkin seedsAround 40%
4.Dairy items28%
5.Dark chocolate30%

Some more zinc-rich foods are – oysters, whole grains, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, apricots, guava, peach, berries, etc.

6 the benefits of taking Zinc in the Diabetes

Here are some important reasons as to why Zinc is necessary for the body and how it helps to keep one healthy, especially if there is diabetes:

  1. It is an immunity booster and prevents colds, increases wound healing abilities, strengthens metabolism, helps in proper hormone formations and release, etc.
  1. It is an antioxidant that reduces the level of oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is related to causing internal damage and worsening of health conditions. Zinc prevents and protects against such ailments.
  1. It also decreases inflammation and chances of inflammation in the body.
  1. It is good for the skin and hair.
  1. It keeps away age-related deterioration and provides strength in the body.
  1. It is also crucial for proper nerve functioning.




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