Following a new development, the understanding how zinc is handled in our body is heightened, say researchers at the University of St Andrews. This could help with improved treatments for people with diabetes.
The research funded by the British Heart Foundation has been involved in examining the causes of potentially risky blood clots, and reasons for the blood clots to occur more commonly in people with diabetes.
According to clinical data, diabetes is a key risk factor for circulatory and heart diseases. In Scotland, approximately 300,000 adults diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated thousands more with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels, thus people with the condition are up to three times are at a high risk to develop conditions such as vascular dementia, heart attack, and stroke.
Meanwhile, researchers at the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews contemplated the role of zinc in these processes. For the human physiology, zinc is an essential element that performs several functions in the body, of which, one is to help clot after injury.
However, for individuals with underlying conditions such as obesity or type 2 diabetes blood clotting can occur when it’s not required. This could cause damage to blood vessels to lead to serious health conditions such as thrombosis and stroke.
The research is published in Chemical Science.
The research reveals that transportation of zinc in the blood is compromised for individuals with type 2 diabetes due to increased levels of fatty acids. The fatty acids prevent zinc from being carried the normal course making way for zinc to interact with clot-activating proteins. This potentially triggers dangerous blood clots.