BACKGROUND: Many studies have reported that the consumption of alcohol induces the generation of free radicals. Moreover, recent studies suggest that serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (γ-GTP) within its normal range might be an early marker of oxidative stress. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that serum antioxidant carotenoids would be inversely associated with serum γ-GTP in alcohol drinkers within normal liver function.
METHODS: A total of 266 Japanese men who had received health examination in 2003 participated in the study. The associations of serum γ-GTP and serum-carotenoid concentrations stratified by alcohol intake levels were evaluated cross-sectionally. The participants were divided into three groups according to their ethanol intake level (non-drinker, less than 1 g/day; light drinker, 1-25 g/day; and moderate and heavy drinkers, 25+ g/day). The multivariate-adjusted geometric means of the serum γ-GTP concentrations in each tertile of the serum-carotenoid concentrations were calculated after adjustment for ethanol intake, age, body mass index, total cholesterol, triacylglycerols, current tobacco use, and habitual exercise.
RESULTS: The serum γ-GTP concentrations were significantly high in accordance with the ethanol intake level. In moderate and heavy drinkers, the multivariate-adjusted geometric means of serum γ-GTP concentrations were significantly low in accordance with the tertiles of the serum lycopene, α-carotene, β-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin concentrations.
CONCLUSIONS: The serum antioxidant carotenoids were inversely associated with alcohol-induced increases of serum γ-GTP in moderate and heavy drinkers within normal liver function.
J Epidemiol 2005; 15: 180-186.
2005 by Japan Epidemiological Association