Project: Noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus is supposed to be associated with fluctuations in the plasma levels of several trace elements. There is accumulating evidence that the metabolism of several trace elements is altered in patients with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus and that these nutrients might have specific roles in the pathogenesis and progression of this disorder.
Procedure: The aim of the present study is to compare the levels of essential trace and toxic elements including lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), aluminium (Al), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), vanadium (V), manganese (Mn), barium (Ba), silver (Ag), and mercury (Hg) in patients with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus (n = 31), impaired glucose tolerance (n = 20), impaired fasting glucose (n = 14), and healthy controls (n = 22). Plasma concentrations of the elements were measured by using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
Results: The results indicated that values of lead, nickel, aluminium, copper, and chromium were significantly higher, but not above toxic levels, in the plasma of nonsmoker patients with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus (P < 0.05). The values for these elements were found to be significantly higher (P < 0.05) in patients with impaired fasting glucose than in controls. Moreover, a statistically significant correlation was found between plasma levels of glycated hemoglobin and of some trace elements like lead, nickel, aluminium, copper, chromium, cadmium, and mercury.
Conclusions: Thus, it was concluded that chronic complications of glucose metabolism disorders might be associated with alterations in the levels of some trace elements. Nevertheless, some more timely and extensive studies are required to clarify the exact mechanisms of each of these changes.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; trace elements.