Zinc is an essential trace element with proposed therapeutic effects in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), however, the associations between zinc status and the prospective risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and Type 2 DM have not been evaluated. The current systematic review aims to determine the relationships between zinc intake or plasma/serum zinc levels and prospective incidence of CVD and Type 2 DM. Fourteen papers describing prospective cohort studies were included, reporting either CVD (n
= 91,708) and/or Type 2 DM (n
= 334,387) outcomes. Primary analyses from four out of five studies reported no association between zinc intake and CVD events, when adjusted for multiple variables. Higher serum zinc level was associated with lower risk of CVD in three out of five studies; pronounced effects were observed in vulnerable populations, specifically those with Type 2 DM and patients referred to coronary angiography. The limited evidence available suggests no association between zinc status and Type 2 DM risk. Further investigations into the mechanisms of zinc’s action on the pathogenesis of chronic diseases and additional evidence from observational studies are required to establish a recommendation for dietary zinc in relation to the prevention of CVD and Type 2 DM.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited