Serum carotenoids and vitamins in relation to markers of endothelial

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BackgroundEndothelial cell dysfunction may be related to an increase in cellular oxidative stress. Carotenoids and vitamins could have an antioxidant-mediated tempering influence on endothelial function and inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.MethodsWe measured serum carotenoids, α-tocopherol and Vitamin C concentrations in 379 subjects sampled from the general population. High-sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen (Fbg) and leukocytes were measured as markers of inflammation. Furthermore, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD; n=165) were measured as markers of endothelial function. Relationships between serum carotenoids and vitamins and markers of endothelial function and inflammation were analysed after adjustment for confounding.ResultsIn the total study group, lutein and lycopene were inversely related to sICAM-1 with regression-coefficients of −0.38 ± 0.19 (p = 0.04) and −0.16 ± 0.08 (p = 0.04) per 1 μmol/l, respectively. β-Carotene was inverse related to leukocytes (−0.23 ± 0.07; p = 0.007) and CRP (−1.09 ± 0.30; p = 0.0003) per 1 μmol/l. Vitamin C was inverse related to CRP (−0.01 ± 0.005; p = 0.04) per 1 μmol/l, whereas α-tocopherol was positively related to CRP (0.03 ± 0.01; p = 0.02) per 1 μ/l. Zeaxanthin was inversely related to FMD (31.2 ± 15.3; p = 0.04) per 1 μmol/l.ConclusionThe inverse relations between carotenoids, Vitamin C and sICAM-1, CRP and leukocytes may help to explain the possible protective effect of carotenoids and Vitamin C on atherosclerosis through an influence on inflammatory processes and endothelial function.

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