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Abstracts

ABSTRACTS FOR THE VITAMIN C CONTROVERSY


61. Vitamin c improves endothelial dysfunction of epicardial coronary arteries in hypertensive patients.

Circulation 1997 Sep 2;96(5):1513-9
Solzbach U, Hornig B, Jeserich M, Just H
Medical Clinic, Department of Cardiology, University of Freiburg, Germany.

BACKGROUND: There is evidence for increased formation of free radicals in patients with hypertension, raising the possibility that NO is inactivated by free radicals, which impairs coronary endothelial function. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the antioxidant vitamin c could improve abnormal endothelial function of coronary arteries in patients with hypertension. METHODS AND RESULTS: In 22 hypertensive patients without relevant coronary artery stenoses, endothelium-dependent vascular responses of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) to acetylcholine (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 micromol/L) were determined before and immediately after intravenous infusion of 3 g vitamin c (17 patients) or placebo (5 patients). In a subgroup of 10 patients, papaverine-induced flow-dependent vasodilation (FDD) was measured before and after vitamin c (5 patients) or placebo (5 patients) infusion. Segmental responses of the coronary artery luminal area were analyzed with quantitative coronary angiography. Before vitamin c infusion, the mean changes of LAD luminal areas at increasing doses of acetylcholine were -6.1+/-2.2%, -15.2+/-4.9%, and -33.9+/-8.1% (negative numbers symbolize vasoconstriction) and during FDD, 5.4+/-1.0%. The vasoconstrictor response during acetylcholine was reduced and FDD was augmented by vitamin c. After vitamin c infusion, LAD luminal areas changed by -3.2+/-2.3%, -5.8+/-3.6%, and -10.2+/-5.6% (P<.05, acetylcholine) and 17.8+/-2.8% (P<.05, FDD). Doppler flow velocity (during baseline, acetylcholine, and FDD) was not ignificantly affected by vitamin c. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin c improves the endothelium-dependent vasomotor capacity of coronary arteries in patients with hypertension and patent coronary arteries. These findings suggest that increased oxidative stress contributes to endothelial dysfunction in hypertensive patients.


62. VITAMIN C improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in forearm resistance vessels of humans with hypercholesterolemia.

Circulation 1997 Jun 17;95(12):2617-22
Ting HH, Timimi FK, Haley EA, Roddy MA, Ganz P, Creager MA Vascular Medicine and Atherosclerosis Unit, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

BACKGROUND: Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is impaired in humans with hypercholesterolemia. Oxidative degradation of endothelium-derived nitric oxide plays a major role in endothelial dysfunction in animal models of hypercholesterolemia. To assess whether this mechanism is relevant to humans, we studied the effect of VITAMIN C, an antioxidant, on vasodilator function in forearm resistance vessels of patients with hypercholesterolemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 11 hypercholesterolemic and 12 healthy control subjects. Forearm blood flow was determined by venous occlusion plethysmography. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was assessed by intra-arterial infusion of methacholine (0.3 to 10 micrograms/min). Endothelium-independent vasodilation was measured by intra-arterial infusion of nitroprusside (0.3 to 10 micrograms/min) and verapamil (10 to 300 micrograms/min). Forearm blood flow dose-response curves were determined for each drug before and during coadministration of VITAMIN C (24 mg/min). In hypercholesterolemic subjects, endothelium-dependent vasodilation to methacholine was augmented by coinfusion of VITAMIN C (P = .001); in contrast, endothelium-independent vasodilation to nitroprusside and verapamil were not affected by coinfusion of VITAMIN C (P = .8 and P = .3, respectively). In control subjects, VITAMIN C administration did not alter endothelium-dependent vasodilation (P = .2). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that VITAMIN C improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the forearm resistance vessels of patients with hypercholesterolemia. These findings suggest that nitric oxide degradation by oxygen-derived free radicals contributes to abnormal vascular reactivity in hypercholesterolemic humans.


63. Antioxidant nutrient supplementation reduces the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein to oxidation in patients with coronary artery disease.

J Am Coll Cardiol 1997 Aug;30(2):392-9
Mosca L, Rubenfire M, Mandel C, Rock C, Tarshis T, Tsai A, Pearson T University of Michigan Preventive Cardiology Program, Department of Medicine, Ann Arbor 48106-0363, USA.

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine the effect of antioxidant supplementation on the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation in patients with established cardiovascular disease (CVD). BACKGROUND: Data are inconsistent regarding the role of antioxidant nutrients in the prevention of CVD. METHODS: The study design was a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Patients with CVD (n = 45) were randomized to 1) placebo control; 2) 400 IU of vitamin E, 500 mg of VITAMIN C, 12 mg of beta-carotene (mid-dose); or 3) 800 IU of vitamin E, 1,000 mg of VITAMIN C, 24 mg of beta-carotene (high dose) daily. Reduced susceptibility of LDL to oxidation was estimated by an increase in lag phase (minutes). Baseline and 6- and 12-week measurements of lipoproteins and lag phase were obtained. Plasma levels of antioxidants were measured at baseline and 12 weeks. RESULTS: Concentrations of alpha-tocopherol, VITAMIN C and beta-carotene significantly increased in the mid- and high dose groups during the trial. Lag phase significantly increased from baseline (190.1 +/- 63.8 min [mean +/- SD]) to 12 weeks (391.1 +/- 153.0 min) in the high dose group (p < 0.01). A nonsignificant increase in lag phase in the mid-dose group was observed during the same time interval. A dose response was found for mean percent change from baseline to 12 weeks for lag phase for the placebo, mid- and high dose groups (p = 0.004 for trend). CONCLUSIONS: A high dose combination of antioxidant nutrients reduces the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in patients with CVD and may be useful in secondary prevention.



64. Ascorbic acid reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease.

Circulation 1996 Mar 15;93(6):1107-13
Levine GN, Frei B, Koulouris SN, Gerhard MD, Keaney JF Jr, Vita JA
Evans Memorial Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, MA 02118, USA.

BACKGROUND: In the setting of atherosclerosis, endothelial vasomotor function is abnormal. Increased oxidative stress has been implicated as one potential mechanism for this observation. We therefore hypothesized that an antioxidant, ascorbic acid, would improve endothelium-dependent arterial dilation in patients with coronary artery disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: Brachial artery endothelium-dependent dilation in response to hyperemia was assessed by high-resolution vascular ultrasound before and 2 hours after oral administration of either 2 g ascorbic acid or placebo in a total of 46 patients with documented coronary artery disease. Plasma ascorbic acid concentration increased 2.5-fold 2 hours after treatment (46+/-8 to 114+/-11 micromol/L, P=.001). In the prospectively defined group of patients with an abnormal baseline response (<5% dilation), ascorbic acid produced marked improvement in dilation (2.0+/-0.6% to 9.7+/-2.0%), whereas placebo had no effect (1.1+/-1.5% to 1.7+/-1.5%, P=.003 for ascorbic acid versus placebo). Ascorbic acid had no effect on hyperemic flow or arterial dilation to sublingual nitroglycerin. CONCLUSIONS: Ascorbic acid reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in the brachial circulation of patients with coronary artery disease. These findings suggest that increased oxidative stress contributes to endothelial dysfunction in patients with atherosclerosis and that endothelial dysfunction may respond to antioxidant therapy.


65. Effect of ascorbate supplementation on low density lipoprotein oxidation in smokers.

Atherosclerosis 1996 Jan 26;119(2):139-50
Fuller CJ, Grundy SM, Norkus EP, Jialal I
Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA.

The oxidative modification of low density lipoprotein (LDL) may play a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, evidence of oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) has been found in vivo. Supplementation of some animal models with antioxidants has been shown to retard the formation of aortic atherosclerosis. Ascorbate (vitamin c) is a highly potent aqueous-phase antioxidant in plasma, which has been shown in vitro to retard LDL oxidation. Cigarette smokers have reduced concentrations of ascorbate in their plasma, and their LDL may be more prone to xidation. Hence, the objective of the present study was to examine the effect of ascorbate depletion and supplementation on the propensity of LDL to oxidize in smokers in a 6-week study. Nineteen healthy smokers followed a low ascorbate diet (< or = 30 mg/day) for 2 weeks, then were randomly assigned to receive placebo or 1000 mg ascorbate per day for 4 weeks. Blood was taken at 0 and 4 weeks of supplementation for study of LDL oxidative susceptibility. LDL was oxidized with 5 mumol/l copper. The ascorbate-supplemented group had significant increases in plasma ascorbate. The placebo group showed no change in the time course of LDL oxidation between 0 and 4 weeks. However, the ascorbate-supplemented group has a significant reduction in LDL oxidative susceptibility as measured by thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and the formation of conjugated dienes. The ascorbate-supplemented group demonstrated significantly increased lag phase and decreased oxidation rate at 4 weeks compared to 0 weeks. No changes were found in the placebo group. The ascorbate-supplemented group showed no biochemical signs consistent with increased body iron stores. Supplementation of otherwise healthy smokers for 4 weeks with 1000 mg ascorbate per day resulted in increased plasma ascorbate and reduced LDL oxidative susceptibility.


66. Vitamin C prevents the acute atherogenic effects of passive smoking.

Free Radic Biol Med 2000 Feb 1;28(3):428-36
Valkonen MM, Kuusi T
Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

During passive smoking the body is attacked by an excess of free radicals inducing oxidative stress. In nonsmoking subjects even a short period of passive smoking breaks down serum antioxidant defense (TRAP) and accelerates lipid peroxidation leading to accumulation of their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in cultured human macrophages. We now studied whether these acute proatherogenic effects of secondhand smoke could be prevented by an effective free radical scavenger, vitamin C. Blood samples were collected from nonsmoking subjects (n = 10) as they were consecutively exposed to normal air or cigarette smoke during four separate days. During the last 2 d, a single dose of vitamin C (3 g) was given, which doubled its plasma concentration. Vitamin C did not influence the plasma antioxidant defense or the resistance of LDL to oxidation in normal air, but prevented the smoke-induced decrease in plasma TRAP (p <.001), the decrease in the resistance of LDL to oxidation (p <.05), and the accelerated formation of serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) (p <.05) otherwise observed 1.5 h after the beginning of passive smoking. Vitamin C protected nonsmoking subjects against the harmful effects of free radicals during exposure to secondhand smoke.


67. Postprandial hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance and inappropriately high phosphaturia are features of younger males with idiopathic calcium urolithiasis: attenuation by Ascorbic acid supplementation of a test meal.

Urol Res 1997;25(1):49-58
Schwille PO, Schmiedl A, Herrmann U, Wipplinger J Department of Surgery, University of Erlangen, Germany.

In idiopathic recurrent calcium urolithiasis (RCU) the state of insulin and carbohydrate metabolism, and relationships to minerals such as phosphate, are insufficiently understood. Therefore, in two groups of males with RCU (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 8) the response to an oral carbohydrate- and calcium-rich test meal was studied with respect to glucose, insulin, and C-peptide in peripheral venous blood (taken before and up to 180 min post-load), and phosphate and glucose in fasting and post-load urine. In one RCU group (n = 16) the meal was supplemented with Ascorbic acid (ASC; 5 mg/kg body weight). The mean age (RCU 29, RCU + ASC 30, controls 27 years) and mean body mass index [RCU 24.4, RCU + ASC 25.0, controls 24.0 kg/m2] were similar. Insulin resistance (synonymous sensitivity of peripheral organs to insulin) was calculated from insulin serum concentration, as was also integrated insulin, C-peptide, and glucose. Untreated stone patients (RCU) developed hyperinsulinaemia between 60 and 120 min post-load, increased integrated insulin, and insulin resistance (P < or = 0.05 vs controls), whereas the rise of C-peptide and glycaemia (absolute and integrated values) was only of borderline significance. Fasting phosphaturia was low in both RCU subgroups vs controls; however, phosphaturia in untreated RCU rose in response to the meal, contrasting sharply with a decrease in controls. ASC supplementation of the meal (in the RCU + ASC subgroup) normalized insulin, failed to normalize post-load phosphaturia, but reduced post-load glucosuria and urinary pH significantly (mean pH values 5.55 vs 5.93 in untreated RCU, controls 5.50). Postprandial urinary oxalate, calcium, protein, and supersaturation products were not changed. The postprandial changes in phosphaturia and insulin sensitivity were inversely correlated (n = 38, r = -0.44, P = 0.007). It was concluded that in younger RCU males: (1) postprandial hyperinsulinaemia, the failure to reduce phosphaturia and - within limits - glucosuria, appropriately, as well as poor urine acidification are important features of the metabolism; (2) these phenomena are probably caused by insulin resistance of organs, the kidney included; and (3) the addition of a supraphysiological dose of ASC to a meal, the subsequent abolition of hyperinsulinaemia, and the restoration of normal urine acidification suggest that this antioxidant is capable of counteracting some pre-existing basic abnormality of cell metabolism in RCU.


68. A single high dose of vitamin C counteracts the acute negative effect on microcirculation induced by smoking a cigarette.

Microvasc Res 1999 Nov;58(3):305-11
Zhang J, Ying X, Lu Q, Kallner A, Xiu RJ, Henriksson P, Bjorkhem I
Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, SE-141 86, Sweden.

Cigarette smoking is associated with marked acute changes in microcirculation including reduced blood flow. We tested the hypothesis that the reduced blood flow velocity is due to the imbalance between prooxidants and antioxidants that occurs as a consequence of smoking and that it can be reduced by an antioxidant. The effect of smoking a single cigarette on nail-fold microcirculation was analyzed in 24 healthy subjects with varying smoking habits. Vital capillary microscopy was used and the blood cell flow velocity in the capillaries was evaluated before and 1-30 min after smoking. Smoking induced a marked decrease in microcirculatory blood flow in 23 of the 24 subjects (40-50% decrease 1-5 min after smoking). This change was reduced by more than 50% in the same subjects after intake of 2 g of vitamin C 2 h before smoking (P < 0.0001 by ANOVA test) with smokers responding similarly to nonsmokers in these experiments. Intake of 1 g of vitamin C had no significant effect on the smoking-induced changes in most of the subjects tested (n = 11). Pretreatment with aspirin had little or no effect on the response to smoking (n = 9). Our results show that treatment with a single high dose of vitamin C can reduce and in some individuals even completely abolish the negative acute effect on microcirculation induced by smoking a single cigarette. This effect of vitamin C is not likely to be mediated by the cyclooxygenase system.


69. Effect of vitamin C and E in modulating peripheral vascular response to local cold stimulus in man at high altitude.

Jpn J Physiol 1999 Apr;49(2):159-67
Purkayastha SS, Sharma RP, Ilavazhagan G, Sridharan K, Ranganathan S, Selvamurthy W
Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi, 110054, India.

At high altitude (HA), cold stress is aggravated by hypoxia, perhaps due to the increased formation of free radicals which trigger oxidative stress. This may be one of the contributing factors for adverse effects including disturbances in microcirculation and capillary permeability resulting in decreased peripheral blood flow. This leads to altered cold-induced-vasodilatation (CIVD) response on exposure to HA. The present study was conducted on 40 male volunteers (4 groups of 10 each) to evaluate the utility of supplementation of vitamin C (500 mg/d)and vitamin E (400 mg/d) singly, as well as in combination, in modulating peripheral vascular response by assessing CIVD response under local cold stimulus both at Delhi (200 m) and at HA (3,700 m). On exposure to 3,700 m, decreased CIVD response was observed in all the groups. The responses were better in vitamin supplemented groups, in general, as compared to the placebo group. The best CIVD response was seen in the vitamin C (singly)-treated group. Administration of vitamin C and E together did not result in any additional benefit. Facilitation of CIVD response due to supplementation of vitamin C may be attributed to its (a) antioxidant effect, and (b) major physiological functions of increased metabolism and thermogenic properties, facilitation of collagen synthesis, restoration of intercellular substances and better maintenance of the rheological status of the blood. Hence, vitamin C is effective for improving peripheral blood flow and thereby reduces the incidence of cold injuries during acclimatization or outdoor duties at HA.


70. Effects of antioxidant vitamins C and E on signal-averaged electrocardiogram in acute myocardial infarction.

Am J Cardiol 1996 Feb 1;77(4):237-41
Chamiec T, Herbaczynska-Cedro K, Ceremuzynski L
Department of Cardiology, Postgraduate Medical School, Grochowski Hospital, Warsaw, Poland.

Experimental studies indicate that oxygen-free radicals contribute to ischemic myocardial damage and affect electric properties of cellular membranes. We hypothesize that an association exists between an oxygen-free radical-induced component of myocardial ischemic injury and altered electric function that underlies the genesis of ventricular late potentials in the course of myocardial infarction. If so, antioxidant vitamins C and E may prevent alterations in the signal-averaged electrocardiogram (SAECG). To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of supplementation with vitamins C and E on the indices of the SAECG in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Sixty-one patients with AMI were randomized to receive conventional treatment and vitamins C and E, each 600 mg/day, orally for 14 days (supplemented group, n = 33) or conventional treatment only (control group, n = 28). SAECG was recorded on days 1 or 2 and between days 9 and 13 (mean 10). Serum ascorbic acid, tocopherol, plasma lipid peroxides, and oxygen-free radical production by isolated leukocytes were measured on days 1 or 2 and between days 12 and 14. In the control group, SAECG showed an increase in mean QRS and low-amplitude ( < 40 microV) signal durations, from 99 +/- 10 to 111 +/- 13 ms (p < 0.001) and from 31 +/- 8 to 38 +/- 10 ms (p < 0.001), respectively, and a decrease in the root-mean-square voltage of the last 40 ms of the QRS complex, from 36 +/- 25 to 21 +/- 11 microV (p < 0.002). In vitamin-supplemented patients, all these indices remained unchanged. Oxygen-free radical production by isolated leukocytes was decreased compared with that in controls (p < 0.02). Supplementation was confirmed by elevation of serum ascorbic acid and tocopherol. Results support the hypothesis that in patients with AMI, oxygen-free radical-induced cellular damage contributes to alterations in electric function of the heart as seen on the SAECG.