Vitamin E and serum lipid level in patients with rectal carcinoma
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Background: Epidemiological studies indicated connection of the rectal carcinoma with the dietary lipid content, but the identification of the links associating the causes with the consequences are still far from being resolved. On the other hand, it has been experimentally confirmed that vitamin E expresses antitumor effects in some types of malignancies, but these effects strongly depend not only on the vitamin E form employed, but also on the presence of other antioxidants, e.g. selenium (Se). Materials and methods: In this work, we monitored the values of the following parameters in blood of patients diagnosed as having rectal carcinoma: cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides and vitamin E. The measurements were performed immediately before and after the surgery (rectal resection), as well as 1, 3 and 6 months postoperatively. One group of patients was postoperatively supplemented with dietary antioxidants and the values of the above parameters were monitored by the same schedule. Results: Ratio of vitamin E content and the sum of triglycerides and cholesterol (E/trg+chol) was lower in patients than in the population of adult healthy volunteers, suggesting it to be a more reliable indicator of the risk factor for rectal carcinoma development than the level of vitamin E alone. A decline of both vitamin E level and E/trg+chol ratio was noticed in patients as early as one month postoperatively, while in the group receiving antioxidants, a significant decrease of these parameters was recorded only 6 months postoperatively. Conclusion: The fact that the supplementation postpones reduction of vitamin E level postoperatively suggests that antioxidants could express some beneficial effects on the outcome of a standard therapy.