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Metabolism. 1995 Mar;44(3):398-403.

Serum retinol levels throughout 2 years of cholesterol-lowering therapy.

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Cattedra di Malattie del Ricambio, Istituto di Chimica Clinica, Università di Verona, Italy.


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).

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