Relationship between Increased Body Iron Stores, Oxidative Stress and Insulin Resistance in Healthy Men

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Abstract

Aim:

The aim of our cross-sectional study was to assess the relationships between body iron stores, oxidative stress, impaired insulin sensitivity and carotid atherosclerosis in a cohort of healthy men in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Methods:

We examined 151 volunteers, aged 35–60 years. Anthropometric parameters, markers of metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, inflammatory markers, parameters of oxidative stress and intima-media thickness of common carotid artery were measured.

Results:

Ferritin correlated positively with waist circumference, body mass index, impaired insulin sensitivity, plasma triglycerides and inversely with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. We observed positive correlations between ferritin, oxidized low-density lipoprotein and advanced oxidation protein products after adjustment for age, waist circumference, body mass index and measured inflammatory markers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α). There were no significant associations between ferritin and intima-media thickness or markers of endothelial dysfunction. In a stepwise multiple regression analysis, triglycerides, waist circumference and elevated transaminases were independent determinants of the serum ferritin level.

Conclusion:

Our results provide evidence for a relationship between plasma ferritin and oxidative modification of lipids as well as proteins in vivo. Higher body iron stores may contribute to impaired insulin sensitivity through increased oxidative stress in a cohort of healthy men.

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