Zinc is among the most important elements that ensure optimal health in humans, and a new sensor may help health practitioners better determine the supplementation needs of those at risk of a deficit.
The sensor — which is the first of its kind — was developed by scientists from Imperial College London and Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands. It responds to the need to more accurately measure the level of the microelement that plays an important biological function, including maintenance of muscle and brain health and insulin storage in pancreas cells, a process which is often defective in people with type 2 diabetes.
Professor Guy Rutter, one of the authors of the study from the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London, says the information obtained through the instrument will help doctors see what is going on inside tissues.
He adds, "We hope this new sensor will help researchers learn more about diseases [that may be related to the amount of zinc in the body] and potentially identify new ways of treating them."
For those at risk of a deficit, nutritional supplements may be a good option.