Effects of bovine prostate powder on zinc, glucose, and insulin metabolism in old patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.


Song MK, Rosenthal MJ, Naliboff BD, Phanumas L, Kang KW






Since rabbit prostate extract strongly stimulated intestinal zinc absorption and improved the diabetic condition of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, we examined the effects of 200 mg bovine prostate powder supplemented with 20 mg zinc (Pro-Z) on the clinical manifestations of older male patients with type II diabetes. Twenty-two male patients who received Pro-Z capsules two to four times per day for 3 months showed reduced mean fasting blood glucose levels from 202 to 169 mg/dL, hemoglobin A1C-(HbA1C) concentrations from 12.2% to 9.5%, and mean values for the 3-hour area response above the fasting glucose concentration (TAFGC) from 141 to 102 mg glucose/dL/h. In eighteen patients who received placebo, mean values for fasting blood glucose decreased from 167 to 165 mg/dL and HbA1C from 10.4% to 10.2%, and for TAFGC increased from 121 to 126 mg glucose/dL/h. No detrimental changes occurred in the liver and kidney function of patients receiving either Pro-Z or placebo. However, blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein in patients receiving Pro-Z decreased slightly, whereas values in the placebo group tended to increase. The mean fasting plasma insulin decreased 15.5 to 13.8 microU/mL in subjects given Pro-Z, while the zinc concentration increased from 1.21 to 1.39 microg/mL. In contrast, the mean value for plasma insulin in the placebo group changed from 14.4 to 15.4 microU/mL (worsened), and for zinc, from 1.24 to 1.30 microg/ml. Interestingly, fasting urinary glucose concentrations in subjects given Pro-Z decreased from 1,249 to 378 mg/dL, whereas in those given placebo the values changed from 877 to 778 mg/dL. Since plasma zinc concentrations in both the placebo and the Pro-Z group were normal, these results suggest that biochemical constituents in the prostate including zinc may be involved in controlling glucose metabolism in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.