Plasma levels of vitamin E and carotenoids are decreased in patients with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Eur J Med Res. 2011 Feb 24;16(2):76-8. doi: 10.1186/2047-783x-16-2-76.


Objectives: Oxidative stress is suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The present study was aimed to compare plasma levels of antioxidants in patients suffering from NASH and healthy controls.

Methods: Plasma levels of the antioxidants α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, α-carotene β-carotene were determined in 57 patients with biopsy-proven NASH and 40 healthy controls.

Results: Levels of α-tocopherol (22.4 vs. 26.8 nmol/ ml; p<0.01), lutein (0.19 vs. 0.33 nmol/ml; p<0.0001), zeaxanthin (0.04 vs. 0.08 nmol/ml; p<0.0001), lyco?pene (0.15 vs. 0.42 nmol/ml; p<0.0001), α-carotene (0.03 vs. 0.06 nmol/ml; p<0.005) and β-carotene (0.25 vs. 0.39 nmol/ml; p<0.01) were significantly decreased in NASH patients compared to controls. Age, aminotransferase status (ALT, AST) and BMI were not correlated with the levels of tocopherols or caro?tenoids.

Conclusions: Given the decreased levels supplementation of lipophilic antioxidants might be a rational treatment option for patients with NASH.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Fatty Liver / blood*
  • Fatty Liver / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Vitamin E / blood*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids