Vitamin C to counter passive smoking damage

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Related tags: Antioxidant

Taking a daily vitamin C supplement could help non-smokers prevent
the damage caused by passive smoking, suggests a new study.

Vitamin C may help prevent the damage caused by passive smoking, suggests a new study.

Exposure to smoke in close environment is thought to increase non-smokers' risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The small study found that non-smokers who took a daily vitamin C supplement significantly reduced their levels of oxidative stress, thought to indicate the damage done by inhaling smoke and one of the risk factors for smoking-related diseases.

However vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid seemed to have little effect on outcome, reported the researchers in this week's issue of Nutrition and Cancer​.

The researchers from the University of California in Berkeley, US investigated the effect of antioxidants on a biomarker for lipid peroxidation, F2-isoprostane, in blood samples of 67 passive smokers.

The subjects (47 women, 20 men), aged 45 years old on average, received either 500mg of vitamin C, a mix of vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid, or a placebo daily over a period of two months.

The scientists controlled for baseline levels of antioxidants, excluding people with a high intake of fruit and vegetables, believed to combat oxidative stress through their high antioxidant content. Cholesterol profiles, transferrin saturation, and C-reactive protein were also taken into account.

In the vitamin C and mixture groups, oxidative stress decreased significantly by 11.4 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively compared with the placebo group.

While the results do not confirm a reduced risk for lung cancer or heart disease, they suggest that a daily vitamin C supplement could protect passive smokers from some of the risk factors leading to these diseases, suggest the researchers.

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