Double-blind intervention trial on modulation of ozone effects on pulmonary function by antioxidant supplements.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether the acute effects of ozone on lung function could be modulated by antioxidant vitamin supplementation in a placebo-controlled study. Lung function was measured in Dutch bicyclists (n = 38) before and after each training session on a number of occasions (n = 380) during the summer of 1996. The vitamin group (n = 20) received 100 mg of vitamin E and 500 mg of vitamin C daily for 15 weeks. The average ozone concentration during exercise was 77 microg/m3 (range, 14-186 microg/m3). After exclusion of subjects with insufficient compliance from the analysis, a difference in ozone exposure of 100 microg/m3 decreased forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) 95 ml (95% confidence interval (CI) -265 to -53) in the placebo group and 1 ml (95% CI -94 to 132) in the vitamin group; for forced vital capacity, the change was -125 ml (95% CI -384 to -36) in the placebo group and -42 ml (95% CI -130 to 35) in the vitamin group. The differences in ozone effect on lung function between the groups were statistically significant. The results suggest that supplementation with the antioxidant vitamins C and E confers partial protection against the acute effects of ozone on FEV1 and forced vital capacity in cyclists. (+info)
Thiol-dependent degradation of protoporphyrin IX by plant peroxidases.
Protoporphyrin IX (PP) is the last porphyrin intermediate in common between heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis. This pigment normally does not accumulate in plants because its highly photodynamic nature makes it toxic. While the steps leading to heme and chlorophylls are well characterized, relatively little is known of the metabolic fate of excess PP in plants. We have discovered that plant peroxidases can rapidly degrade this pigment in the presence of thiol-containing substrates such as glutathione and cysteine. This thiol-dependent degradation of PP by horseradish peroxidase consumes oxygen and is inhibited by ascorbic acid. (+info)
Stabilization of L-ascorbic acid by superoxide dismutase and catalase.
The effects of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase on the autoxidation rate of L-ascorbic acid (ASA) in the absence of metal ion catalysts were examined. The stabilization of ASA by SOD was confirmed, and the enzyme activity of SOD, which scavenges the superoxide anion formed during the autoxidation of ASA, contributed strongly to this stabilization. The stabilization of ASA by catalase was observed for the first time; however, the specific enzyme ability of catalase would not have been involved in the stabilization of ASA. Such proteins as bovine serum albumin (BSA) and ovalbumin also inhibited the autoxidation of ASA, therefore it seems that non-specific interaction between ASA and such proteins as catalase and BSA might stabilize ASA and that the non-enzymatic superoxide anion scavenging ability of proteins might be involved. (+info)
Glutathione-S-transferase (GSTM1) genetic polymorphisms do not affect human breast cancer risk, regardless of dietary antioxidants.
Glutathione-S-transferases catalyze the detoxication of carcinogen metabolites and reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced through a number of mechanisms. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) M1 is polymorphic, and the null allele results in a lack of enzyme activity. Because there are indications that ROS may be involved in breast carcinogenesis, we sought to determine whether the GSTM1 null allele was associated with increased breast cancer, particularly among women with lower consumption of dietary sources of alpha-tocopherol, carotenoids and ascorbic acid. In a study of diet and cancer in western New York, women with primary, incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer (n = 740) and community controls (n = 810) were interviewed and an extensive food-frequency questionnaire administered. A subset of these women provided a blood specimen. DNA was extracted and genotyping performed for GSTM1. Data were available for 279 cases and 340 controls. The null allele did not increase breast cancer risk, regardless of menopausal status. There were also no differences in associations between the polymorphism and risk among lower and higher consumers of dietary sources of antioxidants or smokers and nonsmokers. These results indicate that GSTM1 genetic polymorphisms are not associated with breast cancer risk, even in an environment low in antioxidant defenses. (+info)
Prospective cohort study of antioxidant vitamin supplement use and the risk of age-related maculopathy.
In a prospective cohort study, the authors examined whether self-selection for antioxidant vitamin supplement use affects the incidence of age-related maculopathy. The study population consisted of 21,120 US male physician participants in the Physicians' Health Study I who did not have a diagnosis of age-related maculopathy at baseline (1982). During an average of 12.5 person-years of follow-up, a total of 279 incident cases of age-related maculopathy with vision loss to 20/30 or worse were confirmed by medical record review. In multivariate analysis, as compared with nonusers of supplements, persons who used vitamin E supplements had a possible but nonsignificant 13% reduced risk of age-related maculopathy (relative risk = 0.87, 95 percent confidence interval (CI) 0.53-1.43), while users of multivitamins had a possible but nonsignificant 10% reduced risk (relative risk = 0.90, 95% CI 0.68-1.19). Users of vitamin C supplements had a relative risk of 1.03 (95% CI 0.71-1.50). These observational data suggest that among persons who self-select for supplemental use of antioxidant vitamin C or E or multivitamins, large reductions in the risk of age-related maculopathy are unlikely. Randomized trial data are accumulating to enable reliable detection of the existence of more plausible small-to-moderate benefits of these agents alone and in combination on age-related maculopathy. (+info)
Demonstration of rapid onset vascular endothelial dysfunction after hyperhomocysteinemia: an effect reversible with vitamin C therapy.
BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia is a major and independent risk factor for vascular disease. The mechanisms by which homocysteine promotes atherosclerosis are not well understood. We hypothesized that elevated homocysteine concentrations are associated with rapid onset endothelial dysfunction, which is mediated through oxidant stress mechanisms and can be inhibited by the antioxidant vitamin C. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 17 healthy volunteers (10 male and 7 female) aged 33 (range 21 to 59) years. Brachial artery diameter responses to hyperemic flow (endothelium dependent), and glyceryltrinitrate (GTN, endothelium independent) were measured with high resolution ultrasound at 0 hours (fasting), 2 hours, and 4 hours after (1) oral methionine (L-methionine 100 mg/kg), (2) oral methionine preceded by vitamin C (1g/day, for 1 week), and (3) placebo, on separate days and in random order. Plasma homocysteine increased (0 hours, 12.8+/-1.4; 2 hours, 25.4+/-2.5; and 4 hours, 31. 2+/-3.1 micromol/l, P<0.001), and flow-mediated dilatation fell (0 hours, 4.3+/-0.7; 2 hours, 1.1+/-0.9; and 4 hours, -0.7+/-0.8%) after oral L-methionine. There was an inverse linear relationship between homocysteine concentration and flow-mediated dilatation (P<0. 001). Pretreatment with vitamin C did not affect the rise in homocysteine concentrations after methionine (0 hours, 13.6+/-1.6; 2 hours, 28.3+/-2.9; and 4 hours, 33.8+/-3.7 micromol/l, P=0.27), but did ameliorate the reduction in flow-mediated dilatation (0 hours, 4. 0+/-1.0; 2 hours, 3.5+/-1.2 and 4 hours, 2.8+/-0.7%, P=0.02). GTN-induced endothelium independent brachial artery dilatation was not affected after methionine or methionine preceded by vitamin C. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that an elevation in homocysteine concentration is associated with an acute impairment of vascular endothelial function that can be prevented by pretreatment with vitamin C in healthy subjects. Our results support the hypothesis that the adverse effects of homocysteine on vascular endothelial cells are mediated through oxidative stress mechanisms. (+info)
L-Ascorbic acid potentiates nitric oxide synthesis in endothelial cells.
Ascorbic acid has been shown to enhance impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation in patients with atherosclerosis by a mechanism that is thought to involve protection of nitric oxide (NO) from inactivation by free oxygen radicals. The present study in human endothelial cells from umbilical veins and coronary arteries investigates whether L-ascorbic acid additionally affects cellular NO synthesis. Endothelial cells were incubated for 24 h with 0.1-100 microM ascorbic acid and were subsequently stimulated for 15 min with ionomycin (2 microM) or thrombin (1 unit/ml) in the absence of extracellular ascorbate. Ascorbate pretreatment led to a 3-fold increase of the cellular production of NO measured as the formation of its co-product citrulline and as the accumulation of its effector molecule cGMP. The effect was saturated at 100 microM and followed a similar kinetics as seen for the uptake of ascorbate into the cells. The investigation of the precursor molecule L-gulonolactone and of different ascorbic acid derivatives suggests that the enediol structure of ascorbate is essential for its effect on NO synthesis. Ascorbic acid did not induce the expression of the NO synthase (NOS) protein nor enhance the uptake of the NOS substrate L-arginine into endothelial cells. The ascorbic acid effect was minimal when the citrulline formation was measured in cell lysates from ascorbate-pretreated cells in the presence of known cofactors for NOS activity. However, when the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin was omitted from the assay, a similar potentiating effect of ascorbate pretreatment as seen in intact cells was demonstrated, suggesting that ascorbic acid may either enhance the availability of tetrahydrobiopterin or increase its affinity for the endothelial NOS. Our data suggest that intracellular ascorbic acid enhances NO synthesis in endothelial cells and that this may explain, in part, the beneficial vascular effects of ascorbic acid. (+info)
Cytotoxic effect of paraquat on rat C6 glioma cells: evidence for the possibility of non-oxidative damage to the cells.
Although paraquat has been shown to cause oxidative damage to neuronal cells, little is known about its effect on glial cells. Thus the effect of paraquat on glial cells was examined using rat C6 glioma cells as a model system. Paraquat reduced cell viability in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, and this toxic effect was not significantly attenuated by various kinds of antioxidants. Furthermore, paraquat failed to increase 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine formation in the cells. These results indicate that paraquat can be toxic to glial cells and suggest that this cytotoxic effect may not be associated with the oxidative damage to the cells. (+info)