Serum concentrations of micronutrient antioxidants in an adult Arab population.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2002; 11(1):22-7AP
Serum concentrations of retinol, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and lycopene were measured by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (r-P HPLC) in 260 randomly selected healthy adult Kuwaitis (159 men and 101 women) aged 18-63 years (mean 33.3 years) to established reference ranges of the micronutrient antioxidants. Total cholesterol concentrations were assayed by an enzymatic method to determine alpha-tocopherol: cholesterol ratios. The mean +/- SEM (micromol/L) for retinol, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and lycopene were 1.76+/-0.02, 20.0+/-0.5, 0.52+/-0.03, 0.95+/-0.05, respectively. Compared to other populations, these data showed, on the whole, ordinary concentrations of beta-carotene, comparatively low concentrations of retinol and alpha-tocopherol and high concentrations of lycopene. Retinol concentrations were similar for both sexes, whereas alpha-tocopherol concentration was significantly (P < 0.0001) lower and the carotenoid levels (beta-carotene and lycopene) significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in women. Of the micronutrient antioxidants, alpha-tocopherol was most correlated with cholesterol (r = 0.492, P < 0.0001). beta-Carotene and lycopene were highly correlated with each other (r =0.744, P< 0.0001). Age was positively associated with beta-carotene (r = 0.214, P = 0.001) and lycopene (r = 239, P< 0.0001). Our data enabled us to establish a gender non-specific reference range for retinol and gender-specific reference ranges for alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and lycopene.