Zinc supplementation does not alter indicators of insulin secretion and sensitivity in black and white female adolescents

Andrea J. Lobene, Joseph M. Kindler, Nathan T. Jenkins, Norman K. Pollock, Emma M. Laing, Arthur Grider, Richard D. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Zinc is a micronutrient involved in the production of, and peripheral sensitivity to, pancreatic b cell-derived insulin. To our knowledge, the effect of zinc supplementation on insulin outcomes, and potential risk of diabetes, in otherwise healthy children in the United States has not been investigated. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the influence of zinc supplementation on insulin outcomes in black and white girls in the early stages of adolescence. A secondary objective was to determine relations between baseline zinc concentrations and insulin outcomes. Methods: Healthy black and white girls aged 9-11 y were randomly assigned to daily supplementation of zinc (9 mg elemental Zn/d; n = 75; blacks: n = 35) or placebo (n = 72; blacks: n = 32) for 4 wk. Fasting serum insulin, glucose, and C-peptide were assessed at baseline and at 4 wk. C-peptide and glucose values were used to calculate the computer model-derived homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR). Changes in outcome measures were compared by using repeated-measures, mixed-model ANOVA. Results: Baseline plasma zinc was not correlated with C-peptide (r = -0.07), insulin (r = -0.06), or HOMA2-IR (r = -0.09) (all P > 0.05) after controlling for race and age. Treatment × time interactions for C-peptide and HOMA2-IR were not significant (both P > 0.05). Although the treatment × race × time interactions for C-peptide and HOMA2-IR were not significant (both P = 0.08), black girls who received the placebo experienced slight increases in C-peptide (15.7%) and HOMA2-IR (17.7%) (P = 0.06). Conclusions: Four weeks of zinc supplementation had no effect on insulin outcomes in healthy black and white earlyadolescent girls, although C-peptide and HOMA2-IR tended to increase in black girls who received placebo. Additional trials that are appropriately powered should further explore the effect of zinc on markers of diabetes risk, and whether race affects this relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1300
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017



  • Beta cell function
  • C-peptide
  • Children
  • HOMA
  • Insulin
  • Insulin secretion
  • Pubertal growth
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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