The Effect of 8 Weeks of Zinc Supplementation and Aerobic Exercise on Plasma Glucose Level and Distribution of Pancreatic Beta Cells in Diabetic Rats

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc in Exercise Physiology, University of Shahid Bahonar, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, University of Shahid Bahonar, Kerman, Iran

3 Associate Professor, University of Shahid Bahonar, Kerman, Iran


This aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of zinc supplement and 8 weeks of aerobic exercise on blood glucose levels and distribution of pancreatic beta cells in diabetic rats. 60 matured male rats were randomly divided into six groups: healthy control (C), control exercise (CE), diabetic control (D), diabetic + zinc (DZ), diabetic + exercise (DE) and diabetic + exercise + zinc (DEZ). After 8 weeks, the rats received deep anesthesia and the pancreas was dissected and processed. Random sections were obtained and the number of pancreatic stained beta cells were counted. Blood glucose level (BGL) was measured in different weeks during the study. Statistical analysis of variance test showed the BGL drastically decreased in DEZ and DZ groups compared with the C, D and CE groups (P<0.05). Beta cells of islets in DEZ were significantly (P<0.05) higher than D (effect size %81) and DE (effect size %97) groups and in DZ higher than D group (effect size %99) and were comparable to C and CE groups. This study demonstrated that zinc supplement along with the aerobic exercise can play a more effective role in managing diabetes and can probably increase insulin secretion by controlling diabetes and stimulating the beta cells and also can largely prevent remaining beta cells from damaging by some pathologic changes like hypertrophy.


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