Is Bilirubin a Predictor for Health Promotion?

Autoren:Seyed Khoei, Nazlisadat; Wagner, Karl-Heinz
Abstrakt:Background and Aim: Bilirubin, a pigment found in the bileand end product of haem catabolism, has long been associatedwith liver pathology, and was until recently assumed topossess little or no biological function. Over the recent twodecades, a possible physiological role of unconjugated bilirubin(UCB) was suggested, based upon UCB´s potency in radicalscavenging activity.Methods: Numerous studies have demonstrated that UCB isparticipating in many redox reactions.Results: Our group showed that mildly elevated bilirubinplasma concentrations in the human model of Gilbert’s syndrome(GS) inhibited ex vivo lipid peroxidation, and was associatedwith reduced circulating oxidized LDL concentrations.GS is a benign hereditary condition of increased bilirubin inblood (hyperbilirubinemia) and a very common condition affecting2-12% (depending on ethnicity and gender) of theadult population. The main risk factors contributing to futureCVD risk such as BMI, total/LDL cholesterol, triglycerides andlow- and pro-atherogenic sub-fractions, as well as IL-6 werealso lower in GS compared to age and gender matched controls.Investigating how bilirubin might protect from cancer butalso from CVD is currently a matter of great interest, withstudies demonstrating novel roles for bilirubin in preventingmutation via physio-chemical interaction with mutagens,leading to prevention of DNA damage in vitro.Conclusion: In summary, our data and those of other groupsshow that mild hyperbilirubinaemia seems to be a valid biomarkerof improved health and reduced disease risk.