The Biochemical Role of Macro and Micro- Minerals in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus and its Associated Complications: A Review
Kibiti, Cromwell Mwiti
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Diabetes mellitus is a chronic physiological glucose metabolic disorder. Its high prevalence globally has a significant impact on the quality of life. The management of diabetes includes non-pharmacological and glucose lowering agents. Although these methods are effective, they have drawbacks. This has led to a search for alternative therapy in macro and micro-minerals from dietary foods and plants. There is therefore a need to review, identify and classify their modes of action in diabetes mellitus therapy. Materials and Methods: This review was carried out using comprehensive literature reports on the use of mineral elements in the management of diabetes. Empirical online searches were conducted for different elements that have been studied for their anti-diabetic potentials both in vivo and in vitro. The University of Fort Hare’s online database was also used. Results and Discussion: The results indicate that magnesium, molybdenum, zinc, vanadium and manganese facilitate glucose catabolism. Chromium, vanadium, zinc, molybdenum and magnesium can enhance insulin activity while molybdenum, manganese and zinc stimulate lipogenesis. Zinc and iron can modulate glucose, metabolizing enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract and limit oxidative stress, respectively. These agents have similar mechanisms to conventional drugs in ameliorating diabetic status and other associated complications. Conclusion: The mechanisms of these elements are well known, however, the synergetic effects of their combinations are still obscure. Literature on their safe dose(s) is still scanty. Evaluation of other useful macro and micro-minerals should also be undertaken. It is envisaged that the use of mineral supplements will promote good health in diabetics.