Decrease in serum levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin in patients with colorectal polyp

Research output: Article

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Several retrospective and prospective epidemiological investigations have demonstrated that a diet rich in carotenoids could prevent the development of pre-cancerous and neoplastic lesions of the digestive tract. The aim of this examination was to analyse the correlation between colorectal polyps with different histological classifications and serum carotenoid levels. Design and methods. A 10 ml blood sample was taken from all of the patients after the colonoscopic diagnosis. The serum levels of vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, α- and β-cryptoxanthin, α- and β-carotene were measured in patients with adenomatous colorectal polyp (n = 59, 35 males, 24 females) by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and compared with those in healthy subjects (n = 20, 10 males, 10 females). The patients were separated into four groups depending on their histological findings. Results. The serum levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin were significantly lower in all patients with polyps (vitamin A: 0.913 ± 0.112 μmol/l, zeaxanthin: 0.071 ± 0.012 μmol/l) than in the control healthy group (vitamin A: 2.036 ± 0.354 μmol/l, zeaxanthin: 0.138 ± 0.048 μmol/l). The lowest levels were found in patients with focal adenocarcinoma in the polyp. There were no significant differences in the serum levels of other carotenoids. The serum levels of cholesterol, haemoglobin, total protein and albumin were normal in these patients. Conclusions. There are close and inverse correlations between the serum level of carotenoids and colorectal polyps with different histological grades. The low mean carotenoid levels in patients with adenocarcinoma in the polyp indicate that deficiency of carotenoids may be an important factor in the development of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-308
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Decrease in serum levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin in patients with colorectal polyp'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this