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Acta Universitatis Cibiniensis Seria F Chemia 8(2005-2):61-63

Testing of Magnesium, Zinc and Copper Blood Levels in Diabetes Mellitus Patients

M.L. Rusu1*, C. Mruoiu2, L.D. Rusu1, Olivia Florena Mruoiu3, Cristina Hooleanu1and Laura Poant1

Abstract A group of 60 diabetics and a group of 14 healthy subjects were investigated. Blood serum testing for Mg, Zn and Cu were performed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The data obtained (results) were statistically processed (student test).

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, atomic absorption spectroscopy, copper, zinc, magnesium.

I. Introduction Scientific researches made in recent years give new data about an increasing number of metals involved in various human biological pathways. The deficit or the excess of some microelements in human body can lead to a wide range of diseases. [1, 2, 8, 10]. Diabetes mellitus represents today a disease with massive spreading and medical and social consequences. Recent research has shown a tight relation between some specific

University of Medicine and Pharmacy "I Haieganu", 13 Emil Isac Street, Ro 3400, Cluj-Napoca, Romania 2 Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Department of Chemistry, 7-9 Ion Ratiu Street, 2400, Sibiu, Romania 3 Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 11 Arany Janos, Ro 3400 Cluj-Napoca, Romania * To whom the correspondence should be addressed.



M.L. Rusu, C. Mruoiu, L.D. Rusu, Olivia Florena Mruoiu, Cristina Hooleanu and Laura Poant

oligoelements and diabetes mellitus, with implications for the pathogenesis of this disease and its vascular complications. [3, 5, 8, 10, 11] Based on the literature data we proposed to study the copper, zinc and magnesium oligoelements involvement in diabetes mellitus. II. Clinical Data The clinical group we investigated was composed of 60 diabetics, hospitalized in the 2 Medical Clinic in Cluj-Napoca, and a group of 14 healthy subjects (as controls), blood donors from the Blood Transfusional Center in Cluj-Napoca. Methods used included a complex clinical-biological investigation of the hospitalized patients and also measurements of the oligoelements aforementioned (Cu, Zn, Mg.) The reactants we used were spectrophotometrical and chemical pure. The data were statistically processed.


III. Results and discussions From the group of 60 diabetic patients, 36 were females and 24 were males. Mean age of the diabetics was 55.4 +- 0.5 years, with a mean duration of the disease of 8.4 +-0.5 years. Segregated by the type of diabetes we had 14 cases with DM type 1 (18 females and 6 males), the rest of the cases were type 2 DM. The mean values concentrations of oligoelements are below in table 1. Table 1. Oligoelement Cu Zn Mg

Concentration µg / dl µg / dl Mg / dl

DM 124.8 128.01 0.96

DM1 117.52 117.27 0.97

DM2 134.53 132.27 0.92

Controls 64.82 86.25 1.8

As we can see from the table 1 (the results have statistical significance p <0.01) the mean values of the copper are high in the diabetics compared to the controls. The concentration tends to rise as the illness progress. It is known that some diseases evolve with high levels of copper serum concentration. This fact was also proved in the groups we studied. Thus, for patients with diabetes with vascular lesions the Cu level was around 142.10 µg/dl, whereas in those with diabetes and artheriopathy it was 150.20 µg/dl and in those with diabetes and nephropathy or retinopathy it was 160.71 µg/dl. Zinc is also present at high levels in diabetes mellitus. The maximal values of Zn in the group we studied show the same ascendant trend as Cu values. In the presence of vascular complications the Zn levels show a moderate but constant increase, from 114 µg/dl in diabetes with obliterative artheriopathy and 122.95 µg/dl in diabetes with retino/nephropathy. The Mg values from table 1 show a significant decrease in diabetes mellitus patients compared to controls. This important lowering, to half the normal values, may be due to magnesium depletion caused by osmotic diuresis, then caused by the indirect 62

Acta Universitatis Cibiniensis Seria F Chemia 8(2005-2):61-63

hormonal, vitaminic or ionic effects [6]. Hypomagnesaemia represent a risk factor in diabetic retinopathy and tends to decrease the hypoglycemiant action of insulin. [7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] V. Conclusions In diabetes mellitus the mean values of blood level of copper are significantly increased, especially in the presence of retinopathy and in type 2 diabetes. The zinc values were also increased significantly, especially in diabetes mellitus with nephropathy or retinopathy. In contrast, the levels of magnesium tend to decrease leading to the illness deterioration, reducing the hypoglycemiant action of insulin and stimulating the development of vascular lesions. V. References 1. Siegel, H., Metal Ions in Biological Systems, Marcel Decker Inc. ­ New York, 1974,401 2. Oksawa, M., in Prasad, AS (Ed) Essential and Toxic Trace Elements in Human Disease: an update, Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, vol. 380, Whiley-Kiss New York, 1993,283. 3. Andreani, D., in Andreani, D., Di Maria U. (ed) Kimpton Med.Pub.London, 1984,1-21 4. Duu, Al., Motocu, M., Rusu, M.L., Rusu, M., Duu, A., Nagy, S., International Congress for Magnesium Research paperwork's, Tg. Mures, 1991 5. Nemp, J., Mandrup-Poulsen, T., Diabetes Metabolism Rev, 1987, 3, 779. 6. Durlach, J., Le Magnesium en practique clinique, J Bailiere, Paris,1975. 7. Haennia, A., Zind, Z., Andersson, A., Lithell, H., 6th European Magnesium Congress, Budapest, 1998, Hungary, Book of Abstracts, May 13-16, 57 8. Djurhuus, M.S., Magnesium Research, 2001, 14, 217-223 9. Mildred, S., Seelig, Rosanoff, A., The Magnesium Factor ­ Ed. Avery (Penguin Group) New-York, 2003 10.Timar, O., Sestier, F., Levy, E., Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2000, 16, 779-789 11. Rude, R.K. Postgraduate Medicine, 1992, 92, 217-219, 222-224. 12. Endoh, M., Clin. Calcium, 2005, feb.15 (2) p 162-174.




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