Background: There have been very few studies, with contradictory results, on the zinc status of children and adolescents with type-1 diabetes mellitus. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine zinc status based on the serum zinc concentration in type-1 diabetic children and adolescents and compare it with that of healthy controls.
Methods: Thirty children and adolescents with type-1 diabetes mellitus, aged 6 to 18 years, and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls participated in the study. Serum zinc, fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and serum albumin were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry, enzymatic colorimetry, ion-exchange chromatography and colorimetry using bromocresol green methods, respectively.
Results: No statistically significant difference was found in the mean serum zinc concentration between diabetic patients and healthy controls (111.0 ± 3.1 and 107.1 ± 3.8 mg/dl respectively, P= 0.4). No correlations were found between the serum zinc levels and fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, or the duration of the disease in the patients.
Conclusion: The zinc levels of diabetic children and adolescents are not noticeably different compared to those of healthy controls and are independent of glycemic control and the duration of the disease.
Keywords: Zinc, Type-1 diabetes mellitus, Children, Adolescents, Hemoglobin A1c
Several studies have shown changes in zinc status and metabolism in both type-1 and type-2 diabetes mellitus patients (1-3). Some investigators have reported unusual urinary zinc excretion in both types (4-6) and, consequently, considered the possibility of its deficiency. However, zinc deficiency in diabetic patients has not been well demonstrated (7).Zinc is an essential trace element with a vital role in metabolism, particularly as a cofactor of many enzymes, required for natural metabolic processes, growth and development. Therefore, it is of great importance in childhood and adolescence (8, 9). Reports in the literature on the zinc status of children and adolescents with type-1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) are limited and contain contradictory results. Some investigators have shown decreased serum zinc concentrations (10, 11), while others have found elevated levels (12, 13), as compared to nondiabetic controls; a few have observed no changes (14, 15). No study has been reported to date on the zinc status of children and adolescents with T1DM in Iran, a large country greatly varied with regard to ethnic, genetic, environmental, ecological and dietary characteristics. The objective of this study was to determine zinc status based on the serum zinc concentration in children and adolescents with T1DM and compare it with that of healthy controls.
Materials and Methods
Thirty children and adolescents with T1DM (diagnosed by a pediatric endocrinologist), 6 to 18 years old (patient group), including 13 girls and 17 boys and 30 weight-, height-, body mass index-, age- and sex-matched healthy children (control group) participated in this crosssectional study. The patients were randomly selected from among those with active files in Namazi Medical Teaching Center, one of the main teaching hospitals of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Shiraz, Iran. They had no other systemic disease and were taking no medication that would interact with zinc metabolism; they were taking only insulin. The controls were apparently healthy children taking no zinc supplement. None of the participants had taken vitamin and mineral supplements for at least 3 months before initiation of the study.
Fasting blood samples were taken from all participants at 7:30 A.M. and analyzed for serum zinc, fasting blood sugar (FBS), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and serum albumin. Serum zinc, FBS, HbA1c and serum albumin were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry, enzymatic colorimetry, ion-exchange chromatography and colorimetry using bromocresol green, respectively. …