Diabetes mellitus (DM) has been reported to be associated with derangement of micronutrients. This study was to investigate the plasma levels of antioxidant elements (zinc, selenium, copper) haemopoeitic elements (chromium and iron) and magnesium in female type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients. Fifty (50) female type 2 DM patients (test subjects) aged 20 to 50 years and 35 healthy, non-diabetic age-matched females (control subjects) were recruited for the study. Fasting blood plasma levels of the elements were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) after acid digestion. Blood glucose level was determined by glucose oxidase/peroxidase method to confirm the status of the test and the control subjects. Body mass index was determined from weight and height of the subjects. The mean values of plasma zinc, selenium, magnesium and chromium were significantly lower in the diabetic patients than in non-diabetics (P<0.002, P<0.001, P< 0.001 and P<0.001 respectively). The mean values of glucose, BMI, iron and copper was observed to be significantly higher in diabetic patients than control subjects (P<0.002, P<0.05, P<0.002 and P<0.001 respectively). A significant positive correlation existed between glucose and BMI, copper and iron (r=0.717; P<0.0001, r=0.717; P<0.05, r=0.721; P<0.05) whereas an inverse relationship was observed between iron and chromium, selenium and magnesium (r =-0.448, -0.703 and -0.651; p<0.004, 0.000, 0.000 respectively). Negative association was also observed between copper and zinc (r=-0.716; P<0.01). These findings revealed that DM is associated with significant alteration in the concentrations of essential trace metals and significant increase in BMI. This may contribute to various metabolic complications and increased mortality from cardiovascular diseases in DM patients in the rural locality as it as observed among diabetics in urban settings.
Key words: Trace metals, diabetes mellitus, copper, chromium, Ekiti state.
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