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Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Aug;40(8):1119-23.

DNA damage and antioxidants; fluctuations through the year in a central European population group.

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  • 1Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava, Slovakia.


Dietary antioxidant levels in the blood depend on intake of fruits and vegetables and therefore might be expected to show seasonal variation. A group of healthy male subjects in Bratislava, Slovakia gave blood samples each month for 1 year. Vitamin C, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol and several carotenoids were measured in plasma, and concentrations of essential metals zinc, copper and selenium in serum. Oxidative DNA damage was assessed in lymphocytes using the comet assay. Seasonal variations in antioxidant levels did not follow a common pattern. beta-Cryptoxanthin was highest in the spring. Lycopene peaked in late summer. Lutein/zeaxanthin was higher in summer than in winter. The concentration of zinc in serum was higher in winter than in summer. DNA damage was lower in summer than in winter. Selenium as well as several antioxidants correlated negatively with indices of DNA damage, while zinc levels showed a positive correlation with DNA damage. These results provide some support for a link between consumption of antioxidants and protection against DNA oxidation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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