Table of Contents
ISRN Nutrition
Volume 2013, Article ID 619516, 8 pages
Research Article

Serum Retinol and Carotenoids in Association with Biomarkers of Insulin Resistance among Premenopausal Women

1Epidemiology Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
3Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
4Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA

Received 12 July 2012; Accepted 10 August 2012

Academic Editors: A. Cuevas, P. Mauriège, and D. Pei

Copyright © 2013 Stacy A. Blondin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate how serum retinol and carotenoids (β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene) are associated with biomarkers of insulin resistance. Research Methods and Procedures. The BioCycle Study (2005–2007) is a prospective cohort of 259 healthy premenopausal women. Fasting serum samples were collected at up to sixteen clinic visits, from which retinol, carotenoids, insulin, glucose, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were measured. Insulin resistance was estimated by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Linear mixed models were used to determine associations adjusting for age, race, body mass index (BMI), education, smoking, physical activity, triglycerides, and energy intake. Results. Retinol was positively associated with HOMA-IR ( 𝛽 = 0 . 1 9 (95% CI: 0.07, 0.32)) units per ug/mL increase in retinol; the relationship was driven by insulin ( 𝛽 = 0 . 2 0 (95% CI: 0.08, 0.31)). Retinol was inversely associated with SHBG ( 𝛽 = βˆ’ 0 . 2 2 (95% CI: −0.28, −0.16)). Although no significant associations were found between serum carotenoids and HOMA-IR, β-carotene was positively associated with SHBG and β-cryptoxanthin inversely with fasting plasma glucose. Conclusion. Results indicate a possible role for serum retinol in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. However, they do not support a strong association between individual or total serum carotenoids and insulin resistance.