Bilirubin and beyond: A review of lipid status in Gilbert's syndrome and its relevance to cardiovascular disease protection
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Gilbert's syndrome (GS) is characterized by a benign, mildly elevated bilirubin concentration in the blood. Recent reports show clear protection from cardiovascular disease in this population. Protection of lipids, proteins and other macromolecules from oxidation by bilirubin represents the most commonly accepted mechanism contributing to protection in this group. However, a recent meta-analysis estimated that bilirubin only accounts for ~34% of the cardioprotective effects within analysed studies. To reveal the additional contributing variables we have explored circulating cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations, which appear to be decreased in hyperbilirubinemic individuals/animals, and are accompanied by lower body mass index in highly powered studies. These results suggest that bilirubin could be responsible for the development of a lean and hypolipidemic state in GS. Here we also discuss the possible contributing mechanisms that might reduce circulating cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations in individuals with syndromes affecting bilirubin metabolism/excretion, which we hope will stimulate future research in the area. In summary, this article is the first review of lipid status in animal and human studies of hyperbilirubinemia and explores possible mechanisms that could contribute to lowering circulating lipid parameters and further explain cardiovascular protection in Gilbert's syndrome.
Progress in Lipid Research
Copyright 2013 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Cardiology (incl. Cardiovascular Diseases)
Gastroenterology and Hepatology