Trace Elements in Saliva as Markers of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

  • Luis Marín Martínez
  • Diana Molino Pagán
  • Pía López Jornet


To analyze Mg, Ca, and Zn levels in saliva, comparing patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a control group of healthy subjects. This transversal, observational, clinical study included a total sample of 147 patients, 74 with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a control group of 73 healthy subjects. Socio-demographic, anthropometric, diabetological, and metabolic variables were registered. Trace elements in non-stimulated basal saliva were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS): Mg, Ca, and Zn. Concentrations of zinc, calcium, and magnesium were significantly higher in the diabetic group than the control group (p < 0.001). A relation was observed between waist circumference and high cardiovascular risk in men (based on two categories: waist circumference < 102 cm; waist circumference ≥ 102 cm), and magnesium levels in saliva (p = 0.003). Magnesium, zinc, and calcium levels in saliva could be useful markers for differentiating patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus from non-diabetics. The salivary magnesium could be used as a marker of high cardiovascular risk when associated with abdominal obesity represented by a waist circumference ≥ 102 cm in men. The present results do suggest that salivary zinc levels could act as a good marker of type 2 diabetes mellitus, in light of zinc’s well-known role as a co-marker of insulin and its relationship to carbohydrate metabolism.


Trace elements Saliva Type 2 diabetes mellitus Waist circumference Cardiovascular risk 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of University Of Murcia (Spain) (16/10/2014) and all procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee.

This study was carried out according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki, 2013. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Servicio de Endocrinología y NutriciónHospital General Universitario Santa LucíaCartagenaSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Medicina y OdontologíaHospital Morales Meseguer, Clínica OdontológicaMurciaSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de Medicina y OdontologíaVirgen de la Arrixaca Clinical University Hospital, IMIB-Arrixaca, University of MurciaMurciaSpain
  4. 4.School of Dentistry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain

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