A U.S. researcher says zinc may play a role in blood sugar regulation
and in avoiding type 2 diabetes.
Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy of the University of Michigan suggests in type
2 diabetes — a protein called amylin forms dense clumps that shut
down insulin-producing cells. However, in the presence of zinc, amylin
does not form clumps.
“We found that one of the likely factors stopping amylin from
attacking the insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas is zinc,
which normally is found in high amounts in these cells, but is
deficient in people with type 2 diabetes,” Ramamoorthy says in a
statement. “By understanding what stops amylin from attacking islet
cells in normal people, we hope we’ll be able to understand how it is
attacking them in people with diabetes.”
The research, published in the Journal of the American Chemical
Society, suggests zinc prevents amylin — also known as Islet Amyloid
Polypeptide — from forming harmful clumps.
Ramamoorthy and colleagues looked at how amylin acts with and without
zinc present using several methods, including nuclear magnetic
“Ultimately, we want to understand how the whole scenario leads to
type 2 diabetes,” Ramamoorthy says..