Overall and Sex-Specific Associations of Serum Lipid-Soluble Micronutrients with Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatotic Liver Disease among Adults in the United States

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This study examined overall and sex-specific associations of serum lipid-soluble micronutrients including α- and γ-tocopherols, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D), retinol, and six major carotenoids with metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic lever disease (MASLD) using the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This analysis included 3956 adults (1991 men, 1965 women) aged ≥ 20 years. Steatotic liver disease was determined through transient elastography examination. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for MASLD associated with micronutrients were estimated using logistic regressions. Higher serum α-tocopherol (highest vs. lowest quartile: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.05-2.22, p = 0.03) and γ-tocopherol (highest vs. lowest quartile: OR = 4.15, 95% CI = 3.00-5.74, p < 0.0001) levels were associated with increased odds of MASLD. Higher serum 25(OH)D levels were associated with reduced odds of MASLD (highest vs. lowest quartile: OR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.27-0.61, p = 0.0001). Inverse associations with the condition were also observed for carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, α-cryptoxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, combined lutein and zeaxanthin, and lycopene) in the serum (Ps < 0.05). The results were comparable between men and women, except for those on α-tocopherol, for which a positive association was only observed for men (p = 0.01). Our results suggest potential protective associations of serum 25(OH)D and carotenoids with MASLD. The positive associations between tocopherols and MASLD may reflect pathophysiological conditions associated with the condition.

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Humans; Male; Female; United States; Micronutrients; Adult; Middle Aged; Nutrition Surveys; Carotenoids; Vitamin A; Vitamin D; Sex Factors; alpha-Tocopherol; Cross-Sectional Studies; Fatty Liver; Young Adult; Lipids; gamma-Tocopherol; Odds Ratio; Aged

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