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(1/213) Dietary antioxidants and magnesium in type 1 brittle asthma: a case control study.

BACKGROUND: Type 1 brittle asthma is a rare form of asthma. Atopy, psychosocial factors and diet may contribute to this condition. As increased dietary magnesium has a beneficial effect on lung function and selenium, vitamins A, C and E have antioxidant properties, a study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that patients with brittle asthma have diets deficient in these nutrients compared with subjects with non-brittle asthma and healthy adults. METHODS: A case control study of the dietary intakes of 20 subjects with brittle asthma, 20 with non-brittle asthma, and 20 healthy adults was performed using five day weighed dietary records. Intake of magnesium was the primary outcome measure with selenium and vitamins A, C and E as secondary outcomes. Serum levels were measured at the same time as the dietary assessment. RESULTS: Sixty subjects (27 men) of mean age 49.5 years were recruited and completed the study. Subjects with brittle asthma had statistically lower median dietary intakes of vitamins A and E than the other groups (vitamin A: brittle asthma 522.5 micrograms/day, non-brittle asthma 869.5 micrograms/day, healthy adults 806.5 micrograms/day; vitamin E: brittle asthma 4.3 mg/day, non-brittle asthma 4.6 mg/day, healthy adults 4.5 mg/day). Median dietary intakes for the other nutrients were not significantly different between groups. Serum levels were within normal ranges for each nutrient in all subjects. Intakes less than the reference nutrient intake (RNI) for magnesium and vitamins A and C, and less than the safe intake (SI) for vitamin E were more likely in patients with brittle asthma than in those with non-brittle asthma. CONCLUSION: Nutrient deficiency and reduced antioxidant activity may contribute to disease activity in type 1 brittle asthma, although a prospective study of replacement therapy will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.  (+info)

(2/213) Parenteral vitamin requirements during intravenous feeding.

Serum vitamin levels of 40 patients undergoing parenteral nutrition over a 5-to 42-day period were studied while the subjects received daily water-soluble and once weekly fat soluble vitamin formulations intravenously. Initial serum deficiencies of vitamins A, C, and folate were noted in a large portion of the severely malnourished population. At the replacement levels used in this study a small number of patients developed subnormal levels of vitamins A and D. Improvement in levels for vitamin C and folate were noted for most patients. Vitamin B12 deficiencies were not noted in any patient. Currently available commercial vitamin preparations can be used with safety in the parenterally nourished population and recommended guidelines for weekly infusion of both water and fat soluble vitamins are presented.  (+info)

(3/213) Aortic wall damage in mice unable to synthesize ascorbic acid.

By inactivating the gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, a key enzyme in ascorbic acid synthesis, we have generated mice that, like humans, depend on dietary vitamin C. Regular chow, containing about 110 mg/kg of vitamin C, is unable to support the growth of the mutant mice, which require L-ascorbic acid supplemented in their drinking water (330 mg/liter). Upon withdrawal of supplementation, plasma and tissue ascorbic acid levels decreased to 10-15% of normal within 2 weeks, and after 5 weeks the mutants became anemic, began to lose weight, and die. Plasma total antioxidative capacities were approximately 37% normal in homozygotes after feeding the unsupplemented diet for 3-5 weeks. As plasma ascorbic acid decreased, small, but significant, increases in total cholesterol and decreases in high density lipoprotein cholesterol were observed. The most striking effects of the marginal dietary vitamin C were alterations in the wall of aorta, evidenced by the disruption of elastic laminae, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and focal endothelial desquamation of the luminal surface. Thus, marginal vitamin C deficiency affects the vascular integrity of mice unable to synthesize ascorbic acid, with potentially profound effects on the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. Breeding the vitamin C-dependent mice with mice carrying defined genetic mutations will provide numerous opportunities for systematic studies of the role of antioxidants in health and disease.  (+info)

(4/213) Ascorbate is depleted by smoking and repleted by moderate supplementation: a study in male smokers and nonsmokers with matched dietary antioxidant intakes.

BACKGROUND: Lack of reliable dietary data has hampered the ability to effectively distinguish between effects of smoking and diet on plasma antioxidant status. As confirmed by analyses of comprehensive food-frequency questionnaires, the total dietary intakes of fruit and vegetables and of dietary antioxidants were not significantly different between the study groups in the present study, thereby enabling isolation of the effect of smoking. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to investigate the effect of smoking on plasma antioxidant status by measuring ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and lycopene, and subsequently, to test the effect of a 3-mo dietary supplementation with a moderate-dose vitamin cocktail. DESIGN: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, the effect of a vitamin cocktail containing 272 mg vitamin C, 31 mg all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, and 400 microg folic acid on plasma antioxidants was determined in a population of smokers (n = 37) and nonsmokers (n = 38). The population was selected for a low intake of fruit and vegetables and recruited from the San Francisco Bay area. RESULTS: Only ascorbic acid was significantly depleted by smoking per se (P < 0.01). After the 3-mo supplementation period, ascorbic acid was efficiently repleted in smokers (P < 0.001). Plasma alpha-tocopherol and the ratio of alpha- to gamma-tocopherol increased significantly in both supplemented groups (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that previous reports of lower concentrations of plasma vitamin E and carotenoids in smokers than in nonsmokers may primarily have been caused by differences in dietary habits between study groups. Plasma ascorbic acid was depleted by smoking and repleted by moderate supplementation.  (+info)

(5/213) Plasma vitamin C and food choice in the third Glasgow MONICA population survey.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the contribution of different foods to the estimated intakes of vitamin C among those differing in plasma vitamin C levels, and thereby inform dietary strategies for correcting possible deficiency. DESIGN: Cross sectional random population survey. SETTING: North Glasgow, Scotland, 1992. PARTICIPANTS: 632 men and 635 women, aged 25 to 74 years, not taking vitamin supplements, who participated in the third MONICA study (population survey monitoring trends and determinants of cardiovascular disease). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Dietary and sociodemographic information was collected using a food frequency and lifestyle questionnaire. Plasma vitamin C was measured in non-fasted venous blood samples and subjects categorised by cut points of 11.4 and 22.7 micromol/l as being of low, marginal or optimal vitamin C status. Food sources of dietary vitamin C were identified for subjects in these categories. Plasma vitamin C concentrations were compared among groups classified according to intake of key foods. More men (26%) than women (14%) were in the low category for vitamin C status; as were a higher percentage of smokers and of those in the older age groups. Intake of vitamin C from potatoes and chips (fried potatoes) was uniform across categories; while the determinants of optimal versus low status were the intakes of citrus fruit, non-citrus fruit and fruit juice. Optimal status was achieved by a combined frequency of fruit, vegetables and/or fruit juice of three times a day or more except in older male smokers where a frequency greater than this was required even to reach a marginal plasma vitamin C level. CONCLUSION: Fruit, vegetables and/or fruit juice three or more times a day increases plasma vitamin C concentrations above the threshold for risk of deficiency.  (+info)

(6/213) Vitamin C status and mortality in US adults.

BACKGROUND: Low vitamin C status may increase the risk of mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to test whether an association existed between serum ascorbate concentrations and mortality and whether the association was modified by cigarette smoking status or sex. DESIGN: Serum ascorbate concentrations were measured in adults as part of the second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1976-1980). Vital status was ascertained 12-16 y later. RESULTS: The relative risk (RR) of death, adjusted for potential confounders, was estimated by using Cox proportional hazards models. Men in the lowest (<28.4 micromol/L) compared with the highest (>/=73.8 micromol/L) serum ascorbate quartile had a 57% higher risk of dying from any cause (RR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.21, 2.03) and a 62% higher risk of dying from cancer (RR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.59). In contrast, there was no increased risk among men in the middle 2 quartiles for these outcomes and no increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in any quartile. There was no association between serum ascorbate quartile and mortality among women. These findings were consistent when analyses were limited to nonsmokers or further to adults who never smoked, suggesting that the observed relations were not due to cigarette smoking. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that men with low serum ascorbate concentrations may have an increased risk of mortality, probably because of an increased risk of dying from cancer. In contrast, serum ascorbate concentrations were not related to mortality among women.  (+info)

(7/213) Oral contraceptives and ascorbic acid.

Plasma, leukocyte, and platelet ascorbic acid levels are decreased in women ingesting oral contraceptive steroids. Studies have shown that it is the estrogenic component of the oral contraceptive agents that is associated with the decresased ascorbic acid concentrations. Urinary excretion of ascorbic acid does not appear to be increased by the steroids. Although serum levels of copper are increased by estrogens and oral contraceptives, ascorbic acid catabolism does not appear to be increased (unpublished). Our preliminary data on tissue uptake of ascorbic acid suggest that changes in tissue distribution are one possible answer for the observed effects of the steroids on blood levels of ascorbic acid.  (+info)

(8/213) Fractured neck of femur in black patients: a prospective study.

We explored the role of iron overload, deficiency of vitamin C and alcohol abuse in the aetiology of cervical and intertrochanteric fractures of the neck of the femur as a result of minor trauma. We studied prospectively 72 patients (45 men, 27 women). Levels of serum iron markers, vitamin C and alcohol markers were measured. Consumption of alcohol was estimated using questionnaires. The findings were compared with those of an age- and gender-matched control group. The mean age of the men was 59.5 years and of the women 66.9 years, with a male predominance. In the men, iron overload, as shown by high levels of serum ferritin (p < 0.001) and deficiency of vitamin C (p < 0.03), as well as abuse of both Western and the traditional type of alcohol, appear to be important aetiological factors. In women, alcohol abuse was also common, but iron markers and levels of vitamin C did not differ significantly from the control group.  (+info)