PURPOSE: Cigarette smokes contain large numbers of free radicals, superoxide anion and nitrogen oxide causing oxidative damage of body tissues and cells. A prospective interventional study was carried out to observe the effects of supplementation of antioxidant vitamins on lung functions in male smokers.
METHODS: 200 apparently healthy male smokers (age range 30 - 50 years), consuming cigarette for >11 pack years, were selected. They were divided into 4 groups of whom 3 groups were supplemented with vitamin A 10,000 IU daily, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 500 mg daily, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 200mg daily and the 4th one with combination of all three antioxidant vitamins, for consecutive 2 months. Pulmonary variables such as FVC, FEV1, FEV1/ FVC ratio and PEFR were measured at the beginning, after 2 months supplementation with antioxidants and at the end of next 6 months without any supplementation to observe the retention effects. 50 apparently healthy age matched non-smoker males were taken as control group, whose above mentioned pulmonary variables were observed for comparison.
RESULTS: The mean of percentage of predicted values of all the pulmonary variables in all the 4 experimental groups were significantly raised (p<0.001) following supplementation of either single or combined vitamins though the values did not reach the corresponding values observed in control subjects. The difference of improvement among various supplementation groups was not significant. However, combined vitamins yielded higher trend of improvement.Again all of these lung function parameters were significantly (p<0.001) decreased at the end of the 6 months of withdrawal of supplementation in comparison to their values at 2nd months of supplementation, indicating insignificant retention effect.
CONCLUSION: The results of the study reveal that lung functions are decreased in smokers and significant improvement of which may occur following 2 months supplementation of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. However the retention effect was not satisfactory.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians may prescribe anti-oxidant supplementations for smokers to improve their lung functions.
DISCLOSURE: Kazi Bennoor, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information