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Association of Vitamins D, B9 and B12 with Obesity-Related Diseases and Oral Microbiota Composition in Obese Women in Croatia

Ana Huđek Turković1§*orcid tiny, Martina Matovinović2§orcid tiny, Kristina Žuna1aorcid tiny, Lucija Škara3orcid tiny, Snježana Kazazić4orcid tiny, Višnja Bačun-Družina1orcid tiny and Ksenija Durgo1orcid tiny

1Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

2Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Reference Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia for Obesity, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

3School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Šalata 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

4Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

aPresent address: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Physiology and Biophysics University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria

Article history:

Received: 24 August 2021

Accepted: 4 April 2022

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obesity; obesity-related diseases; oral microbiota composition; vitamin D; vitamin B12; folic acid


Research background. Oral microbiota has become an important factor in obesity, but its association with obesity-related diseases and serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] and B complex amounts is still uncertain. The main aim of the paper is to determine the variation in oral microbiota composition as a response to the vitamin status and obesity-related diseases in obese females from Croatia. We hypothesized that the prevalence of probiotic or pathogenic bacteria in the oral cavity of obese women in Croatia depends on the amounts of vitamin B9 (folic acid), B12 and 25(OH)D in serum and/or hypertension, diabetes and prediabetes diagnosis.

Experimental approach. To test the defined research hypothesis, female individuals with body mass index (BMI)≥30 kg/m2 (N=70) were recruited to participate in this study. Obese women were divided into groups according to BMI value, diagnosis of obesity-related diseases and amount of micronutrient in blood. For the quantitative determination of folic acid, vitamin B12 and 25(OH)D in serum, an electrochemiluminescence protein binding assay (ECLIA) was performed. Microorganisms isolated from the saliva of obese women were analyzed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer.

Results and conclusionsThe presented results do not support the hypothesis that the prevalence of probiotic or pathogenic bacteria in the oral cavity of obese women in Croatia depends on the amount of micronutrients. On the other hand, hypertension and diabetes/prediabetes favour the growth of oral pathogens, specifically increased levels of Candida sp.

Novelty and scientific contribution. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing the relationship between obesity, micronutrient amount, oral microbiota composition, and the incidence of obesity-related disease. We included only obese women from Croatia, so it is regionally specific. Also, we have shown that oral microbiota composition is not connected with micronutrient deficiencies but only with obesity-related diseases.

*Corresponding author: +38514824720
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§These authors contributed equally to this work