Zinc, Copper, Chromium, Manganese and Magnesium Levels in Serum and Hair of Insulin-dependant Diabetics


Direct association of trace and macro-elements in relation to human disease has been observed in many research studies. In many cases, an alteration in the metabolism of these minerals has been demonstrated.


In this investigation, the serum and hair levels of the trace elements zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn) and the macro-element magnesium (Mg) were determined in 40 subjects (20 insulin-dependant diabetics and 20 controls). Samples were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometric methods.


Serum levels for Zn were lower in the patient groups in comparison to the controls (p<0.01), however, Zn levels in hair follicles were not found to be statistically different. Serum Cu levels were significantly higher in diabetic subjects (p<0.008) whereas hair levels were unaltered. Comparison of levels of Cr in hair samples revealed a significant difference between patients and controls (p=0.001). Serum Mn evaluation revealed no significant difeerence between mean levels of controls and patients (p<0.96), but hair follicle analysis revealed a significant difference between the two groups. For Mg, statistical analysis indicated a significant difference in the two groups of serum levels (p<0.0007), with hair samples showing no significant difference (p<0.01). These results are consistent with results obtained by some other researchers.

Issa Nourmohammadi, Ismail Kochecki-Shalmani, Mohammad Shaabani, Ladan Gohari and Hossein Nazari