Listed in Issue 31


HELEN and VIJAYAMMAL, Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India investigated whether oxidative damage in rat liver caused by exposure to cigarette smoke is effectively counterracted with vitamin C.



The authors assessed liver antioxidants vitamins A, C and E, liver scavenging enzymes and lipid peroxide products in rats exposed to cigarette smoke given 200 mg (100 g/l body weight) vitamin C for 90 days.


Malondialdehyde (MDA), conjugated dienes, hydroperoxides and free fatty acids (FFA) were significantly increased in the liver of rats exposed to smoke. Superoxide dismutase and catalase activity, and concentrations of vitamins C and E were significantly lower compared with controls, and vitamin A concentration, glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH Pxase) activity were enhanced. Supplementation with vitamin C in rats exposed to cigarette smoke resulted in increased resistance to lipid peroxidation and increased activity of scavenging enzymes, and normalisation of GSH, vitamin C and free fatty acids levels.


The results of this study suggest that supplementation with a mega dose of vitamin C is able to protect the liver from oxidant damage caused by cigarette smoke.


Helen A and Vijayammal PL. Vitamin C supplementation on hepatic oxidative stress induced by cigarette smoke. J Appl Toxicol. 17(5): 289-95. Sep-Oct 1997.

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