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The Role of Copper Intake in the Development and Management of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review
Al-Jayyousi, Ghadir Fakhri
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Diabetes mellitus is a worldwide public health issue with numerous complications. Several risk factors are associated with diabetes, mainly due to patients following an unhealthy lifestyle. Copper is a crucial trace element, with various physiological actions. Different intake levels of copper might contribute to diabetes development due to its dual action as both an anti- and pro-oxidant. Aim: Due to the inconclusive findings regarding the relationship between copper consumption and the management of diabetes, we decided to conduct this extensive systematic review. Up to this date, no similar study has been available in the literature. In this review, we used the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Relevant articles were identified by searching the electronic databases CINAHL, EMBASE and Medline from their respective index dates to September 2022 using keywords such as “Copper Intake” and “Type 2 Diabetes”. Any paper that has investigated copper exposure through supplementation or any other method that indicates copper intake in human subjects with type 2 diabetes and measures at least one of the outcomes of interest related to diabetes was included in this review. This review is comprised of 4 cross-sectional studies, 3 cohort studies, 2 RCTs, and 2 interventional studies. Two cohort studies found positive associations between copper intake and the risk of developing T2DM, while no significant association was found in the third study. Regarding diabetes outcomes in the four cross-sectional studies, two found inverse associations, one found a positive relationship, and one found no significant association. In interventional studies, all studies found a protective effect of copper, including the RCT, while one found no significant association. The results are inconsistent concerning the association between copper consumption and the likelihood of developing diabetes are inconsistent. Individuals should receive an adequate dietary amount of copper that is within the RDA levels (900 µg/day) to avoid copper deficiency or toxicity. Further studies, especially RCTs, are strongly needed to enable researchers to elucidate more robust conclusions regarding this association.