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Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Dec 1;31(11):1368-74.

Vitamin E kinetics in smokers and nonsmokers.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA, USA.


Does cigarette smoking increase vitamin E utilization in vivo? A trial was carried out in 6 smokers and 5 nonsmokers of comparable ages and serum lipids. Subjects consumed 75 mg each d(3)-RRR and d(6)-all rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetates (natural and synthetic vitamin E, respectively) daily for 7 d with a standardized breakfast. Fasting blood samples were drawn on days -7, -6, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 21 (negative days indicate supplementation). In both groups, plasma d(3)-alpha-tocopherol concentrations were approximately double of d(6)-alpha-tocopherol. At day 0, the %d(3) alpha-tocopherols (d(3)-alpha-tocopherol/total-alpha-tocopherol x 100) were similar in both smokers and nonsmokers. Subsequently, there was a trend toward a faster exponential disappearance of the plasma %d(3) alpha-tocopherol in smokers compared with nonsmokers (0.30 +/- 0.04 compared with 0.24 +/- 0.05, p =.0565). The calculated %d(3) half-lives were 55.6 +/- 7.4 h in smokers and 72.1 +/- 17.3 h in nonsmokers (p =.0630). By day 21, the %d(3) in smokers had decreased to 1.4% +/- 0.3% while it was 2.2% +/- 0.7% (p =.0418) in the nonsmokers. These data suggest that smoking increases plasma vitamin E disappearance, but further studies are needed to confirm this finding and to assess its cause.

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