The relationship between nutritional status, vitamin A and zinc levels and oxidative stress in patients with ataxia-telangiectasia

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2014 Jul-Aug;42(4):329-35. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2013.02.013. Epub 2013 Jun 14.


Background: Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare and degenerative disease that leads to varying degrees of immunodeficiency, oxidative stress, and malnutrition. Vitamin A and zinc are essential for immune function and antioxidant defence.

Objective: To compare levels of retinol, beta carotene, and zinc in patients with ataxia-telangiectasia and healthy controls.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study with 14 AT patients and 14 healthy controls matched for age and gender. All participants underwent a nutritional and laboratory evaluation comprising concentrations of retinol, beta carotene, serum and erythrocyte zinc, malondialdehyde (MDA), T lymphocyte numbers (CD4(+) and CD8(+)) and immunoglobulin (IgA).

Results: The AT patients showed high rates of malnutrition with reduced lean body mass when compared to the control group. However, the concentrations of MDA, retinol, beta carotene, and serum and erythrocyte zinc in AT patients were similar to those of the control group. The retinol levels presented a negative correlation with MDA and positive correlation with IgA serum level.

Conclusions: The AT patients assessed showed no change in nutritional status for vitamin A and zinc; however, they presented severe impairment in overall nutritional status observed and correlation between retinol with MDA and IgA.

Keywords: Ataxia-telangiectasia; Immune system; Nutritional status; Oxidative stress; Retinol; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / blood*
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Vitamin A / blood*
  • Young Adult
  • Zinc / blood*


  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc