Serum retinol levels throughout 2 years of cholesterol-lowering therapy

Metabolism. 1995 Mar;44(3):398-403. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(95)90173-6.


Some studies have reported an inverse correlation between serum cholesterol level and risk of cancer. This correlation might be due to a decrease in serum retinol, a lipid-soluble vitamin that controls cell proliferation and differentiation. We evaluated the influence of cholesterol-lowering therapy on serum retinol in 102 subjects (mean +/- SE: aged 47.1 +/- 4.1 years; body mass index, 23.8 +/- 0.6 kg/m2) with primary hypercholesterolemia treated for 2 years with different therapeutic protocols. Twenty-two subjects had been treated with diet alone, 35 with diet and fibrates, 37 with diet and hepatic hydroxymethyl glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins), and eight with diet and cholestyramine. Postabsorptive serum retinol, total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglyceride levels were determined at baseline and every 3 months. Baseline TC and LDL-C were significantly lower in the diet-treated group than in other groups. No intergroup differences were found in pretreatment levels of triglycerides and serum retinol. After 2 years of treatment, TC and LDL-C serum levels were not significantly decreased in the diet-alone group, whereas they were decreased by 20% and 24%, respectively, in the gemfibrozil group, 28% and 34% in the statins group; and 21% and 27% in the cholestyramine group. In the entire population (N = 102), serum retinol was 3.46 +/- 0.08 mumol/L before therapy and 3.76 +/- 0.07 after 2 years of therapy (P < .001). Serum retinol increased in diet- and statin-treated groups, but not in fibrate- and resin-treated groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholestyramine Resin / therapeutic use
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / therapy*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • Vitamin A / blood*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins
  • Cholestyramine Resin
  • Vitamin A