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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2000 May;12(5):497-503.

Gastric alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene concentrations in association with Helicobacter pylori infection.

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Digestive Diseases Research Centre, St Bartholomew's and the Royal and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.



The effects of Helicobacter pylori infection and its associated gastric histology on alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene concentrations in serum, gastric juice and antral mucosa were investigated in patients undergoing routine gastroscopy for investigation of dyspepsia.


Eighty-six patients were studied. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to measure alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene concentrations. H. pylori infection was assessed by histology, bacterial culture, rapid urease test and serology.


No obvious association was found between age, sex, smoking or endoscopic diagnosis and alpha-tocopherol or beta-carotene concentrations in serum, gastric juice and antral mucosa. However, alcohol drinkers had significantly lower antral mucosal and gastric juice beta-carotene concentrations compared to non-drinkers. Gastric juice beta-carotene concentration was markedly lower in patients infected with H. pylori than uninfected controls (2.9 nmol/l (interquartile range 0.3-4.3) versus 4.6 nmol/l (interquartile range 3.5-7.6), P = 0.01), but there was no significant difference in serum or gastric mucosal beta-carotene concentrations between the two patient groups. The presence of gastric atrophy and intestinal metaplasia was significantly associated with reduced mucosal alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene concentrations. Furthermore, antral mucosal alpha-tocopherol concentrations decreased progressively as antral mucosal histology changed from normal to chronic gastritis alone and finally to atrophy and intestinal metaplasia.


Gastric alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene concentrations are affected by H. pylori-associated gastric histological changes, and these findings suggest that H. pylori infection may not only impair the protective role of vitamin C, but also of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in the stomach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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