The risk of cancer in smokers can be reduced by Vitamin C supplementation that would counteract the effect of Vitamin E depletion. This loss of Vitamin E is believed to play a major role in the increased cancer risk in smokers.
Now Maret Traber and other researchers at Oregon State University found that sufficient levels of Vitamin C could significantly curb the loss of Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is one of the lung's first lines of defence against cigarette smoke, which creates destructive free radicals. Adequate levels of Vitamin E can help prevent destruction of lung membranes, reported health portal HealthDay.
But, through this protective process Vitamin E can itself become a destructive radical, the scientists said. Researchers found that giving smokers 1,000 milligrams per day of Vitamin C could reduce by up to 45 percent the rate of disappearance of one form of Vitamin E.
Vitamin C supplements also helped protect the function and plasma levels of Vitamin E, according to the study authors. Smokers who took Vitamin C supplements had nearly the same amount of antioxidant protection as non-smokers, they said.
The study, which appeared in the Feb 15 issue of Free Radical Biology and Medicine, is described as the first to demonstrate this type of interaction between the two antioxidants in humans.