Antioxidant liposoluble vitamins and carotenoids in chronic hepatitis

E. Rocchi, G. Casalgrandi, A. Ronzoni, M. C. Rosa, G. Cioni, A. Marazzi, A. Manenti, S. Marchini, E. Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is known that antioxidant liposoluble vitamins and carotenoids are reduced in liver cirrhosis, but little is known about chronic viral hepatitis, where oxidative damage has to be taken into account. Methods: Fifty-five patients with chronic hepatitis, mainly C virus-related, were matched with 16 patients with biliary stones and 20 healthy controls. Plasma and liver analyses were carried out using a well-tried HPLC technique that affords an accurate quantification of retinol, tocopherol, alpha- and beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, and lycopene. Results: Plasma concentration of retinol, tocopherol, beta-carotene, and lycopene was significantly decreased in both patient groups, particularly in those with chronic hepatitis. In contrast, liver concentration of both esterified and free retinol, tocopherol, and some carotenoids was better preserved in the hepatitis group than in the cholelithiasis group. A strict correspondence between aminotransferases and the amount of liver-stored retinol was documented. Conclusions: Plasma vitamin and carotenoid depletion co-existing with preserved liver storage may indicate a functional defect in liver pool mobilization or even a real depletion of the antioxidant defenses, which play a key role in averting cellular damage. The implications for nutrition and therapy need to be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Liposoluble vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Internal Medicine


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