This cross-sectional study investigated whether the acute phase response was associated with suppressed circulating levels of antioxidants in a population of 85 Catholic sisters (nuns) ages 77-99 y. Fasting blood was drawn to determine the presence of an acute phase response, as defined by an elevation in the serum concentration of C-reactive protein. Serum concentrations of albumin, thyroxine-binding prealbumin, zinc, copper, and fibrinogen were determined as were plasma concentrations of carotenoids and alpha tocopherol. Results showed that the presence of an acute phase response was associated with (1) an expected significant decrease in the serum concentrations of albumin (p < 0.001) and thyroxine-binding prealbumin (p < 0.001); (2) an expected significant increase in copper (p < 0.001) and fibrinogen (p = 0.003); and (3) a significant decrease in the plasma concentrations of lycopene (p = 0.03), alpha carotene (p = 0.02), beta carotene (p = 0.02), and total carotenoids (p = 0.01). The acute phase response was associated with decreased plasma levels of the antioxidants lycopene, alpha carotene, and beta carotene. This decrease in circulating antioxidants may further compromise antioxidant status and increase oxidative stress and damage in elders.
- C- reactive protein
- acute phase response