Effects of combined administration of vitamins C and E on reactive hyperemia and inflammatory process in chronic smokers.
Tousoulis D., Antoniades C., Tentolouris C., Tsioufis C., Toutouza M., Toutouzas P., Stefanadis C.
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.