Korean J Lab Med.  2009 Feb;29(1):10-16. 10.3343/kjlm.2009.29.1.10.

Concentrations of Blood Vitamin A, C, E, Coenzyme Q10 and Urine Cotinine Related to Cigarette Smoking Exposure

Affiliations
  • 1Seoul Clinical Laboratories, Seoul, Korea. drssm@scllab.co.kr
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In smokers, smoking causes many disease entities including cancers, chronic pulmonary diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Passive smoking is also accepted as a carcinogen and its adverse health effects are emphasized. We measured blood vitamin A, C, E (alpha-, beta- and gamma-tocopherol), coenzyme Q10 and urine cotinine concentrations in nonsmokers and smokers.
METHODS
Twenty-one healthy nonsmokers and 24 healthy smokers were included in this study. Smoking status was assessed with a self-reported questionnaire. Plasma was analyzed for coenzyme Q10 and serum for vitamin A, C, E using HPLC (Agilent Technologies Inc., USA) and random urine for cotinine using LC/tandem mass spectrometry (Applied Biosystems Inc., Canada).
RESULTS
Smokers had significantly lower serum concentrations of vitamin C than nonsmokers (P=0.0005). No significant differences in concentrations of serum vitamin A, E, and plasma coenzyme Q10 were observed. Smokers had highly elevated urine cotinine levels (1,454+/-903 ng/mL). In 16 (76.2%) of 21 nonsmokers, urine cotinine was detected (3.25+/-4.08 ng/mL). The correlations between urine cotinine and blood antioxidants levels were not found. Neither, the correlation between smoking status and blood antioxidants & urine cotinine was found.
CONCLUSIONS
This study shows that smokers had significantly lower vitamin C levels among nonenzymatic antioxidants, namely, vitamin A, C, E and coenzyme Q10. High detection rate of urine cotinine in nonsmokers show the seriousness of passive smoking exposure, therefore more social efforts should be directed to reduce passive smoking exposure.

Keyword

Antioxidants; Vitamin C; Cotinine; Passive smoking; Smoking
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