Effects of antioxidant vitamins C and E on endothelial function and thrombosis/fibrinolysis system in smokers.
Antoniades C., Tousoulis D., Tentolouris C., Toutouza M., Marinou K., Goumas G., Tsioufis C., Toutouzas P., Stefanadis C.
Smoking is associated with endothelial dysfunction and abnormalities in thrombosis/fibrinolysis system, possibly through increased oxidative stress. In this study we investigated the effect of combined antioxidant treatment with vitamins C and E on endothelial function and plasma levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1), von Willebrand factor (vWF), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and factor VII (fVII), in smokers. Forty-one healthy smokers were randomly divided into 4 groups receiving vitamin C 2g/day (group A), vitamin C 2g/day plus vitamin E 400 IU/day (group B), vitamin C 2g/day plus vitamin E 800 IU/day (group C) or no antioxidants (controls, group D), for 4 weeks. Forearm blood flow was measured using venous occlusion strain-gauge plethysmography. Forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia (RH%) or to sublingual nitroglycerin administration (NTG%) were considered as indexes of endothelium dependent or independent dilation respectively. After treatment, RH% was increased only in groups B (p <0.05) and C (p <0.001) but not in groups A and D. Plasma levels of PAI-1 and vWF were decreased only in group C (p <0.05 for both), while PAI-1/tPA ratio was significantly decreased in both groups B and C (p <0.05 for both). NTG% and plasma levels of tPA and fVII remained invariable in all groups. In conclusion, combined administration of vitamin C and vitamin E at high dosages, improved endothelial function and decreased plasma levels of PAI-1, vWF and PAI-1/tPA ratio in chronic smokers.