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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 425854, 8 pages
Review Article

Zinc and Diabetic Retinopathy

1The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2Department of Ophthalmology, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, 218 Ziqiang Street, Changchun 130041, China
3The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
4Department of Cardiovascular Disease, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, China

Received 11 January 2013; Accepted 8 February 2013

Academic Editor: Weiping Jia

Copyright © 2013 Xiao Miao et al. 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.


Zinc (Zn) is an important nutrient that is involved in various physiological metabolisms. Zn dyshomeostasis is often associated with various pathogeneses of chronic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and related complications. Zn is present in ocular tissue in high concentrations, particularly in the retina and choroid. Zn deficiencies have been shown to affect ocular development, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and even diabetic retinopathy. However, the mechanism by which Zn deficiency increases the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy remains unclear. In addition, due to the negative effect of Zn deficiency on the eye, Zn supplementation should prevent diabetic retinopathy; however, limited available data do not always support this notion. Therefore, the goal of this paper was to summarize these pieces of available information regarding Zn prevention of diabetic retinopathy. Current theories and possible mechanisms underlying the role of Zn in the eye-related diseases are discussed. The possible factors that affect the preventive effect of Zn supplementation on diabetic retinopathy were also discussed.