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Free Radic Res. 1997 Nov;27(5):533-7.

Ex vivo assessment of lymphocyte antioxidant status using the comet assay.

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Boyd Orr Research Centre, University of Aberdeen, Bucksburn, Scotland, UK.


Lymphocytes were isolated from volunteers before and after receiving a single supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E or beta-carotene. The lymphocytes were treated with H2O2, and DNA strand breaks were measured by single cell gel electrophoresis (the comet assay). Significant protection against oxidative DNA damage was evident 2-4 h after vitamin C intake, and 18-24 h after consumption of the other antioxidants. Lymphocytes from smokers were more sensitive to DNA damage than those from non-smokers, and they showed at least as great a protective effect with antioxidants.

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