Serum antioxidant concentrations and metabolic syndrome are associated among U.S. adolescents in recent national surveys

May A. Beydoun, J. Atilio Canas, Hind A. Beydoun, Xiaoli Chen, Monal R. Shroff, Alan B. Zonderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Specific micronutrients, including retinol, retinyl esters, carotenoids [α-carotene, β-carotene (cis+trans), β-cryptoxanthin, lutein+zeaxanthin, and total lycopene], vitamin E, and vitamin C have antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects, properties shown to reduce oxidative stress, a process that accompanies the pathogenesis of many chronic diseases. It is still largely unknown whether they are associated with the occurrence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the adolescent U.S. population. MetS was defined by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Other non-MetS outcomes relying on blood measurements were elevated HOMA-IR, C-reactive protein (CRP), and hyperuricemia. We tested associations between serum antioxidants and MetS outcomes among adolescents aged 12-19 y using cross-sectional data from NHANES 2001-2006 (n = 782-4285). IDF MetS prevalence was estimated at 7% among boys and 3% among girls. In adjusted models, adolescents with MetS had consistently lower carotenoid concentrations compared with their counterparts without MetS. Total carotenoids were also inversely related to HOMA-IR and CRP. Vitamin C was inversely related to uric acid level and MetS binary outcome. Retinol+retinyl esters exhibited an inverse relationship with CRP and a positive relationship with uric acid and HOMA-IR as well as MetS binary outcome. Vitamin E had no association with MetS, particularly after controlling for serum cholesterol and TG. In conclusion, among U.S. adolescents, serum carotenoid concentrations were inversely associated with MetS status, HOMA-IR, and CRP, whereas serum vitamin C was inversely related to MetS status and serum uric acid. Vitamin E had no consistent association with MetS, whereas retinol+retinyl esters had a positive relationship with HOMA-IR, uric acid, and MetS, while being inversely related to CRP. These associations need further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1693-1704
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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