Associations between obesity and serum lipid-soluble micronutrients among premenopausal women

Weiwen Chai, Shannon M. Conroy, Gertraud Maskarinec, Adrian A. Franke, Ian S. Pagano, Robert V. Cooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Elucidating potential pathways that micronutrients may reduce/promote chronic disease may contribute to our understanding of the underlying etiology of disease and their utility as markers of risk. In the current study, we examined associations of serum lipid-soluble micronutrients with body mass index (BMI). We hypothesized that obesity may differentially influence serum micronutrient levels, thereby affecting risk for chronic disease incidence and mortality. Baseline serum samples from 180 premenopausal women from a nutritional trial were analyzed for leptin, C-reactive protein, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, carotenoids, and tocopherols. Participants were stratified into normal-weight (18.5-24.9), overweight (25-29.9), and obese (≥30) subgroups by BMI (in kilograms per square meter). Differences in serum biomarkers among BMI subgroups were adjusted for Asian ethnicity and smoking status. As expected, obese individuals had significantly higher serum levels of leptin and C-reactive protein (Ps<05) compared with normal-weight women. γ-Tocopherol levels were significantly higher in obese individuals (P <05), whereas γ-tocopherol levels did not differ among BMI subgroups. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and carotenoids (except lycopene) were significantly lower in obese than in normal-weight women (Ps<05). The associations between BMI and carotenoids were independent of dietary intake. The obesity-associated reduction for total provitamin A carotenoids (45%) was approximately 3-fold greater than that observed for non-provitamin A carotenoids (16%). Our results indicate potential influences of obesity on serum levels of lipid-soluble micronutrients and suggest that metabolism of provitamin A carotenoids may contribute to the differences observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • BMI
  • CRP
  • Lipid-soluble micronutrients
  • Obesity
  • Premenopausal women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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