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FEBS Lett. 1998 Nov 20;439(3):363-7.

Novel repair action of vitamin C upon in vivo oxidative DNA damage.

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Division of Chemical Pathology, Centre for Mechanisms of Human Toxicity, University of Leicester, UK.


There appears to be a paucity of data examining the effect of dietary antioxidants on levels of oxidative DNA damage in vivo, limiting evidence-based assessment of antioxidant efficacy, mechanisms and recommendation for optimal intake. We have examined levels of 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in mononuclear cell DNA, serum and urine from subjects undergoing supplementation with 500 mg/day vitamin C. Significant decreases in DNA levels of 8-oxodG were seen, correlating strongly with increases in plasma vitamin C concentration. Furthermore we established a timecourse for sequential, significant increases in serum and urinary 8-oxodG levels. These results illustrate, for the first time in humans, the kinetics of 8-oxodG removal and processing in vivo, suggesting a role for vitamin C in the regulation of DNA repair enzymes and thereby demonstrating a non-scavenging antioxidant effect.

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