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J Clin Periodontol. 2012 Oct;39(10):905-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2012.01927.x. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Vitamin C in plasma and leucocytes in relation to periodontitis.

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  • 1Department of Periodontology and Oral Biochemistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To test the hypothesis that vitamin C concentrations in plasma, polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leucocytes (PMNs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are lower in periodontitis patients compared with healthy controls.


Twenty-one untreated periodontal patients and 21 healthy controls matched for age, gender, race and smoking habits were selected. Dietary vitamin C intake was assessed by a self-administered dietary record. Fasting blood samples were obtained and analysed for vitamin C concentrations in plasma, PMNs and PBMCs by means of high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).


Plasma vitamin C was lower in periodontitis patients compared with controls (8.3 and 11.3 mg/l, respectively, p = 0.03). Only in the control group a positive correlation was present between vitamin C intake and plasma values. No differences could be assessed between patients and controls regarding vitamin C dietary intake and levels in PMNs and PBMCs. In the patient group, pocket depth appeared to be negatively associated with the vitamin C concentration in PMNs.


Although the relationship between low plasma vitamin C levels and periodontitis is clear, the disease cannot be explained by insufficient vitamin C storage capacity of leucocytes; the question remains through which mechanism low plasma vitamin C levels are related to periodontitis.

© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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