Background: Cancer development is mediated by oxidative stress and inflammation, which may correlate with metabolic disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate antioxidant vitamins status and metabolic parameters in patients with oral cancer according to tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stages.
Methods: A total of 194 patients with oral cancer were enrolled in this study. The patients were stratified for four groups according to cancer stages and that the statistics are comparisons across these groups. The levels of antioxidant vitamins (ubiquinone, b-carotene, vitamin A and E), metabolic parameters, oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes activity, and inflammatory markers were measured.
Results: More than half of the subjects had high blood pressure, central obesity, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia regardless of TNM stage. With regard to antioxidant vitamins status, 46% and 94% of patients had β-carotene and ubiquinone deficiency, respectively. Patients in T3 and T4 stages had significantly lower antioxidant enzyme (catalase, p = 0.03) activity and higher inflammatory markers levels (high sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, p < 0.01) than patients in the other stages. In addition, the level of b-carotene was negatively associated with waist circumference, and ubiquinone was positively associated with the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.05). Higher b-carotene and ubiquinone levels were negatively associated with hypertriglyceridemia and the risk of metabolic syndrome (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: A high proportion of patients with oral cancer had ubiquinone or b-carotene deficiency and metabolic disorders. The level of ubiquinone or b-carotene was negatively associated with the risk of central obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, and metabolic syndrome. Since patients with oral cancer suffer from high oxidative stress and inflammation (particularly in the T3 and T4 stages), supplementation with antioxidant vitamins such as ubiquinone or b-carotene could be preferentially applied.