Antioxidant vitamins levels–nutrition and smoking
Sommaire de l'article
The plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins express the risk rate of free radical disease. Limit values (risk threshold) were determined in long-term epidemiological and clinical studies. Over-threshold (optimal) values mean an effective protection and a reduced risk of the disease. Values below threshold (deficient) from antioxidant point of view increase this risk. Optimal levels of each antioxidant at different age are required for the maintenance of optimal health. Vitamin C and beta-carotene are derived from fruits and vegetables. The decrease of antioxidant vitamins in smokers caused by free radical presence in tobacco smoke is known. The levels of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene were estimated in two ethnic groups of young adult population of Western Slovakia (n = 122–Gipsy minority; n = 137–majority population). Vitamins levels are correlated to nutrition, smoking and education. Vitamin E levels are similar in both groups; frequency of values with optimal antioxidant effect is equal (21%). In Gipsy group are significantly reduced the vitamin C and beta-carotene levels with only 28% over-threshold values of vitamin C and 7% over-threshold values of beta-carotene vs 46% and 25% in the majority group. The reduced levels of antioxidant vitamins in Gipsy minority group are a consequence of inadequate nutrition (lower and infrequent consumption of fruit and vegetables, low knowledge about optimal nutrition affected by low education–85% of Gipsy subjects have elementary and apprentice education vs 27% of majority subjects) and smoking (smokers–55% of Gipsy persons vs 25% in majority group subjects; 42 and 50% reduced vitamin levels in smokers). (Tab. 1, Fig. 1, Ref. 17.).