The relationship between the level of glutathione, impairment of glucose metabolism and complications of diabetes mellitus

Pak J Med Sci. 2013 Jul;29(4):938-42. doi: 10.12669/pjms.294.2859.


Objective: To investigate whether there is a difference between the subjects with new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and normal fasting blood glucose levels with respect to the level of glutathione (GSH) and the relationship between the presence of complication of diabetes and the level of GSH.

Methods: Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) was performed in IFG patients, with no episode of drug use, who were admitted to hospital. According to the results of the application 30 subjects with type 2 DM, 30 subjects with IGT and 28 subjects with normal blood glucose level were included in the study. Anthropometric measurements and blood pressure values of all subjects were recorded. The biochemical parameters of subjects were studied in the biochemistry laboratory by utilizing Olympus AV-2700. The subjects with diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy were established subsequent to the examination of the retina and 24-hour urine collection test performed to subjects with diagnosis of DM. Levels of GSH in all subjects were measured by enzymatic recycling method.

Results: The mean levels of GSH in subjects with DM were significantly reduced compared with IGT or normal subjects (respectively p=0.02 and p<0.001). Besides, lower levels of GSH were acquired in subjects with IGT compared to normal subjects (p<0.001). The mean levels of GSH in subjects with diabetic retinopathy were lower than the subjects with no established diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy (p<0.001). Similarly, lower levels of GSH (p<0.001) were obtained in microalbuminuric subjects than normoalbuminuric subjects.

Conclusions: At the end of the study, we came to the conclusion that GSH deficiency was of great significance in the pathogenesis of Diabetes Mellitus.

Keywords: Complications; Diabetes mellitus; Glutathion.