The serum levels of carotenoids (vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, alfa- and beta cryptoxanthin, alfa- and beta-carotene) were measured in healthy persons (n = 40) and in 98 patients with different malignant gastrointestinal diseases (44 patients with colon adenocarcinoma, 21 with gastric cancer, 15 with hepatocellular adenocarcinoma, 10 patients with pancreas adenocarcinoma and eight patients with esophagus cancer). The serum levels of carotenoids were measured with high-pressure liquid chromatography. The sera of the patients were taken at the time of the diagnosis. Results: the measurements indicated that (1) the serum level of vitamin A and zeaxanthin were significantly lower in all of these groups (except of pancreas adenocarcinoma), but the extent of the Adecrease was different in the patients with different types of gastrointestinal malignancy. The serum level of vitamin A was in the healthy subjects 2.072±0.332 mmol/l and in the case of gastrointestinal malignancies was 0.77±0.14 mmol/l (P < 0.001) The serum level of zeaxanthin was in the healthy subjects 0.143±0.057 mmol/l and at the malignancies was 0.042±0.014 mmol/l (P < 0.01). (2) There were no significant differences in the serum levels of other carotenoids in the checked groups. (3) The serum level of cholesterol, total protein, albumin and haemoglobin were in the normal range in these patients. These results indicate that the carotenoids may be responsible nutritional factors (as nutritional scavengers) in the development of different malignant diseases. This supposed role in the carcinogenesis does not depend fully on the vitamin A activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)