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Environ Int. 2010 Feb;36(2):188-94. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2009.11.003. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E in female populations from Poland, Serbia and Sweden.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, The Arrhenius Laboratories, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


Exposure to environmental contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), life style and nutritional status of a population are important factors that may influence normal serum levels of antioxidants and the insulin-like growth factor system. In this study we examined serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1(IGFBP-1), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) and vitamin E in healthy female populations (n=4 x 100) aged 19-59 years from Poland (PL), Sweden (SE), Serbia I (SR I) and Serbia II (SR II). The last group lived in an environmental emergency area affected by the bombings of 1999 in Serbia. The Polish and SR I cohorts exhibited low IGFSD-score levels, (-2 to +/-0), compared to females from SE with IGFSD-score 0. In the SR II population, the IGFSD range was between -1 and 1. The IGFBP-1 levels of the Polish and SR I groups were lower than in the Swedish population, while the SR II levels showed a broader distribution, 20-80 microg/l. The CoQ values in the Swedish and Polish samples were around 1 nmol/ml. In contrast, the SR I cohorts exhibited higher concentrations, 1.5-3.5 nmol/ml and the SR II group had extremely low levels, <0.5 nmol/ml. The vitamin E concentrations were similar in the Polish and Swedish populations, 20-40 nmol/ml, while it was twice as high, 40-80 nmol/ml in the SR I and very low in the SR II group, which is half of the Polish and Swedish cohorts. These results suggest that different lifestyles and environmental factors affect both the IGF system and the antioxidants CoQ10 and vitamin E in female populations in Europe. The females living in the polluted area had different patterns of both the IGF and antioxidant systems. These findings may explain differences in morbidity and mortality in these countries.

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