Serum levels of tocopherols may be protective against nononcogenic HPV persistence. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Associations between serum carotenoids and tocopherols and type-specific HPV persistence: the Ludwig-McGill cohort study.
Int J Cancer. 2007 Feb 1;120(3):672-80. PMID: 17096322
Although oncogenic HPV infections have been established as the necessary cause of cervical cancer, most HPV infections are transient and rarely progress to cervical lesions. Current research is focused on identifying factors associated with viral persistence and clearance, such as nutritional status. We evaluated the association between serum antioxidant nutrients (retinol, 10 carotenoids and 3 tocopherols) and type-specific HPV persistence over 4 visits among 405 women participating in the Ludwig-McGill cohort study. We measured circulating carotenoids and tocopherol at 4 different clinical visits for each woman. We report the results from different analytic approaches (a case-control approach at both the woman and viral level, and a prospective approach based on persistent events) that examined the association between these micronutrients and type-specific oncogenic and nononcogenic HPV persistence. In the case-control analysis at the viral level, midcirculating levels of alpha-tocopherol were inversely associated with nononcogenic HPV persistent infection (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.28, 95% CI 0.14-0.57), while high levels were marginally associated (AOR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.28-1.19). Similarly, utilizing generalized estimating equation models, circulating levels of alpha- and delta-tocopherol in the middle or upper tertiles were inversely associated with type-specific nononcogenic HPV persistence (AOR = 0.44, 95% CI 0.19-0.97 and AOR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.19-1.11, respectively). Our study among Brazilian women suggests that serum levels of tocopherols may be protective against nononcogenic HPV persistence. However, we did not find a strong protective effect (as hypothesized) of other serum antioxidant nutrients and type-specific oncogenic HPV persistence measured over 4 clinical visits.