Vitamin C or E does not reduce oxidative stress in young smokers
WESTPORT, Jun 06 (Reuters Health) - Supplementation with the antioxidants vitamin C or vitamin E does not appear to reduce oxidative stress in young smokers, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Dr. Cindy J. Fuller and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, randomized 30 subjects with less than a 5 pack-year history of smoking to either placebo, vitamin C, vitamin E, or both vitamins for 8 weeks.
According to the study results, subjects who received vitamin E alone had a significant increase in the copper-catalyzed low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation rate, while subjects receiving both vitamins had a significant decrease in the oxidation rate. The placebo and vitamin C groups had no change in LDL oxidation.
In addition, none of the groups had any significant changes in polymorphonuclear leukocyte production of superoxide or LDL oxidation after stimulation with phorbol ester or opsonized zymosan.
The researchers also found that plasma and LDL vitamin E levels increased significantly in subjects receiving vitamin E. Subjects who received vitamin C alone had no significant change in plasma vitamin C levels, although a significant increase was observed after pooling results from both groups that received vitamin C.
"These results cast doubt on the ability of antioxidant supplements to reduce oxidative stress in smokers," Dr. Fuller said in a statement. "Even in young smokers who had relatively short histories of smoking, there was minimal beneficial effect detected. Therefore, smoking cessation remains the only means by which young smokers can prevent heart disease."