ACS logo A latest study by the scientists in Oregon and India has developed the first saliva test for Type 2 diabetes. This test can be used to diagnose and determine the effectiveness of the treatment used for Type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes.

Diabetes is a huge problem faced globally. It is said to be the leading cause of morbidity that is linked to preventable metabolic complications. It is stated that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of Type 2 diabetic patients in the past three decades. An estimated 18 million people are said to have been affected in the United States alone.

Study investigator, Paturi V. Rao and colleagues states that no strong marker for diabetes has been finalized for general clinical use. They believe that their study reveals the first comprehensive description of the proteins present in the saliva of a Type 2 diabetic patient. They evaluated the saliva samples taken from both Type 2 diabetic patients as well as patients without Type 2 diabetes. These samples, from 40 subjects, were examined in an attempt to detect protein biomarkers for diabetes. The investigators detected that there were apparently twice the number of proteins in the diabetic samples as compared to the non-diabetic samples.

According to the study investigators, one hurdle for effective treatment is the use of needle-sticks, in order to draw blood for test from the patients. This can make the patient uneasy enough for them to not effectively monitor their blood sugar levels. Saliva testing has numerous advantages as a diagnostic body fluid. It is non-invasive, safe, simple and a cost-effective way of testing.

They state that an early diagnosis and treatment of the disease is very essential for the prevention of occurrence of further complications in the patient. Complications like loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage may occur in the Type 2 diabetic patient.

The investigators hope that these newly identified proteins can lead to new, non-invasive tests for diabetes screening, detection, and monitoring.

Their paper, “Proteomic Identification of Salivary Biomarkers of Type-2 Diabetes,” is published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research issue.