European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 293–299 | Cite as

B vitamins deficiency and decreased anti-oxidative state in patients with liver cancer

  • Chun-che Lin
  • Mei-chin Yin



This study examined the status of oxidative stress and B vitamins in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in different tumor-node-metastasis stages. Patients were divided into two groups as I + II (n = 21) and III  + IV (n = 19).


Plasma levels of lipid oxidation, α-tocopherol, β-carotene, vitamin C, glutathione and the activity of antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and xanthine oxidase) were determined for evaluating oxidative status. Blood B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, and folate) and serum ghrelin were analyzed, and the relationship between serum ghrelin and vitamins B2 (or B6) was evaluated.


HCC patients at III  + IV stage showed significantly lower ghrelin, higher cholesterol, triglyceride, and uric acid than patients at I + II stage and healthy subjects (< 0.05). Plasma lipid oxidation level in HCC patients was significantly greater than healthy subjects (< 0.05). The activity of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase or catalase was significantly decreased, but xanthine oxidase activity was significantly elevated in HCC patients (< 0.05). Plasma level of glutathione and vitamin C, not α-tocopherol and β-carotene, in HCC patients was significantly lower (< 0.05). Vitamins B2 and B6 levels in red blood cells from these HCC patients were significantly lower (< 0.05).


This study provided novel clinical findings regarding the status of oxidative stress and B vitamins in HCC patients. Plasma glutathione level may be a proper biomarker for evaluating oxidative status for HCC patients. Our data indicate that HCC patients might need B vitamins supplementation. The increased serum level of triglyceride and cholesterol might be a consequence of an impaired hepatic fat metabolism, and might be improved by a lower fat administration to these patients.


hepatocellular carcinoma oxidative stress B vitamins glutathione ghrelin 


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Copyright information

© Spinger 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Internal MedicineChung Shan Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Dept. of NutritionChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan, ROC

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