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Free Radic Res. 2003 Apr;37(4):461-7.

Pulmonary bioavailability of ascorbic acid in an ascorbate-synthesising species, the horse.

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Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UK.


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a non-enzymatic antioxidant important in protecting the lung against oxidative damage and is decreased in lung lining fluid of horses with airway inflammation. To examine possible therapeutic regimens in a species with ascorbate-synthesising capacity, we studied the effects of oral supplementation of two forms of ascorbic acid, (each equivalent to 20 mg ascorbic acid per kg body weight) on the pulmonary and systemic antioxidant status of six healthy ponies in a 3 x 3 Latin square design. Two weeks supplementation with ascorbyl palmitate significantly increased mean plasma ascorbic acid concentrations compared to control (29 +/- 5 and 18 +/- 7 micromol/l, respectively; p < 0.05). Calcium ascorbyl-2-monophosphate, a more stable form of ascorbic acid, also increased mean plasma ascorbic acid concentrations, but not significantly (23 +/- 1 micromol/l; p = 0.07). The concentration of ascorbic acid in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid increased in five out of six ponies following supplementation with either ascorbyl palmitate or calcium ascorbyl-2-monophosphate compared with control (30 +/- 10, 25 +/- 4 and 18 +/- 8 micromol/l, respectively; p < 0.01). Neither supplement altered the concentration of glutathione, uric acid or alpha-tocopherol in plasma or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In conclusion, the concentration of lung lining fluid ascorbic acid is increased following ascorbic acid supplementation (20 mg/kg body weight) in an ascorbate-synthesising species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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