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Purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of combined administration of antioxidant vitamins C and E on endothelial function and serum levels of inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukines 1b (IL-1b) and 6 (IL-6), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and E-selectin in chronic smokers. Forty-three smokers were randomly divided into four groups receiving vitamin C 2 g/day (group A), vitamin C 2 g/day plus vitamin E 400 IU/day (group B), vitamin C 2 g/day plus vitamin E 800 IU/day (group C) or no antioxidant treatment (group D), for 4 weeks. Forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured using venous occlusion strain gauge plethysmography. Forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia (RH%) was expressed as the percentage change from baseline to post reactive hyperemia blood flow. RH% was significantly increased in groups B (P<0.05) and C (P<0.01), but remained unaffected in groups A and D. Serum levels of IL-1b, IL-6, sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 were significantly reduced in group C (P<0.05, respectively), but remained unaffected in groups A, B and D. Thus, short term administration of vitamins C (2 g/day) and E (800 IU/day) reduces serum levels of IL-1b, IL-6, sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1, and improves forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia in healthy young smokers, while monotherapy with vitamin C alone is ineffective.


Journal article



Publication Date





261 - 267


Adult, Antioxidants, Ascorbic Acid, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cytokines, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Forearm, Humans, Hyperemia, Inflammation Mediators, Male, Plethysmography, Smoking, Vasodilation, Vitamin E