The role of iron, a trace nutrient, on diabetes
The nutrient balance is an important factor to keep healthy state in the body. In various nutrients, iron is a most abundant trace metal element. Iron-deficient anemia is often seen in the iron-related disorders, therefore, lots of functional food, drink, and nutritional supplement are widely provided and used to prevent iron deficiency. On the other hand, over iron intake induces excess iron status, causing increased oxidative stress production via catalyzing Fenton reaction. Recent evidences suggest that iron involves the pathological conditions of non-iron accumulating diseases, and the role of iron is noticed again.
Diabetes is associated with poor prognosis to develop a variety of complications such as cardiovascular disease and diabetic kidney disease（DKD）in addition to diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Moreover, patients with diabetes often present reduced skeletal muscle mass, and it causes more impaired insulin resistance by diminishing glucose uptake. Recent studies have shown that iron content is associated with diabetic and obese condition, and high iron intake increases diabetes risk. We have clarified the favorable effect of iron reduction on obesity and DKD through diminishing oxidative stress. In addition, excess iron caused skeletal muscle atrophy and it was ameliorated by an anti-oxidant drug.
Thus, iron plays an important role in diabetes and its complication through oxidative stress production. Further studies are clarifying an important role of trace nutrient including iron and so on, contributing to the development of new therapeutic strategy.
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