Researchers have devised a painless new method for detecting diabetes using saliva.

The findings were presented in a study revealed at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 18th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress.

Through salivary analysis of 40 patients, doctors devised a new “non-invasive” method for diabetes detection.

It involves an inexpensive spit test that could be performed in a doctor’s office or at a patient’s home, avoiding the uncomfortable prick of a needle.

Oregon Health and Science University Professor Srinivasa R Nagalla said the finding was made by characterising proteins in human saliva that can indicate pre-diabetes and type-2.

“Analysis of these proteins allowed us to develop this new method for screening, detecting and monitoring the diabetic state,” Nagalla said.

During the research, an estimated 487 unique proteins were identified, approximately a third of which were not reported previously in human saliva. Of these, 65 indicated a difference between patients with normal blood glucose levels and those with diabetes.

“This comprehensive protein analysis provides the first global view of potential mechanisms perturbed in diabetic saliva and their utility in detection and monitoring of diabetes,” Nagalla added.

By staff writer.