Authors: Forte G, Bocca B, Peruzzu A, Tolu F, Asara Y, Farace C, Oggiano R, Madeddu R.
Mechanisms for the onset of diabetes and the development of diabetic complications remain under extensive investigations. One of these mechanisms is abnormal homeostasis of metals, as either deficiency or excess of metals, can contribute to certain diabetic outcomes. Therefore, this paper will report the blood levels of chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn) in subjects with type 1 diabetes (n = 192, mean age 48.8 years, mean disease duration 20.6 years), type 2 diabetes (n = 68, mean age 68.4 years, mean disease duration 10.2 years), and in control subjects (n = 59, mean age 57.2 years), and discuss the results indicating their possible role in diabetes. The metal concentrations were measured by sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after microwave-induced acid digestion of blood samples. The accuracy was checked using a blood-based certified reference material, and recoveries of all elements were in the range of 92-101 % of certified values. Type 1 diabetes was found to be associated with Cr (p = 0.02), Mn (p < 0.001), Ni (p < 0.001), Pb (p = 0.02), and Zn (p < 0.001) deficiency, and type 2 diabetes with Cr (p = 0.014), Mn (p < 0.001), and Ni (p < 0.001) deficiency. These deficiencies were appreciated also subdividing the understudied patients for gender and age groups. Furthermore, in type 1 diabetes, there was a positive correlation between Pb and age (p < 0.001, ρ = 0.400) and Pb and BMI (p < 0.001, ρ = 0.309), while a negative correlation between Fe and age (p = 0.002, ρ = -0.218). In type 2 diabetes, there was a negative correlation between Fe and age (p = 0.017, ρ = -0.294) and Fe and BMI (p = 0.026, ρ = -0.301). Thus, these elements may play a role in both forms of diabetes and combined mineral supplementations could have beneficial effects.