Metabolic Syndrome May Be Monitored Through Saliva Testing
Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome or cardio-metabolic syndrome, is a combination of risk factors including increased waistline (abdominal obesity), hypertension (high blood pressure), impaired fasting blood glucose, high levels of triglycerides, and low levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) that puts you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Since these diseases can be prevented with dietary and lifestyle interventions, non-invasive approaches are needed to identify high-risk people.
Earlier studies have shown that serum uric acid is associated with obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Since serum uric acid concentration is directly proportional to salivary uric acid (SUA) concentration, Maria Soukup and her colleagues from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, USA, took up a study to find out whether saliva testing could be a useful non-invasive method for screening cardio-metabolic risk.
They needed to determine if SUA is increased in people with metabolic syndrome and also the relationship between SUA and cardio-metabolic risk factors.
Seventy-eight healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 65 participated in the study. Height, weight, blood pressure, and waist circumference were measured. A full lipid panel along with fasting blood glucose was obtained.
Salivary uric acid (SUA) concentration was determined using the enzymatic uric acid assay reagent in a 96-well format
The results showed that significant positive correlations were seen between SUA and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, BMI, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and the number of cardio-metabolic risk factors present.
SUA levels were negatively correlated with HDL.
This study, thus, confirmed the results of earlier studies that show positive association between higher serum uric acid levels and metabolic syndrome, and further found that salivary uric acid (SUA) is elevated in patients with metabolic syndrome and also correlates with risk factors including blood pressure, triglyceride levels, HDL, and fasting blood glucose.
The study also supports the suggestion that SUA levels 'may be a viable noninvasive biomarker for monitoring cardio-metabolic risk particularly in women'.
The study report has been published in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome.
The researchers, however, pointed out that the study was small in size and the oral health status was self reported. The study was also limited due to lack of detailed information regarding emotional status, alcohol consumption and nutrition, all of which affect the SUA levels.
They concluded - 'The ability to monitor cardio-metabolic risk using simple, noninvasive testing (such as SUA testing) should help overcome barriers to screening and may also improve adherence to dietary and behavioral treatment programs'.
Source: Soukup M, Biesiada I, Henderson A, Idowu B, Rodeback D, Ridpath L, Bridges EG, Nazar AM, Bridges KG. Salivary uric acid as a noninvasive biomarker of metabolic syndrome. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2012 Apr 19;4(1):14.