The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
DRI DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES FOR Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids
relevant hypothesis is that the oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and other lipoproteins promote atherogenesis (Berliner and Heinecke, 1996; Devaraj and Jialal, 1996; Witztum and Steinberg, 1991). Several lines of evidence suggest that oxidized LDL (oxLDL) is pro-atherogenic. Furthermore, data support the in vivo existence of oxLDL (Berliner and Heinecke, 1996; Witztum and Steinberg, 1991). In vitro studies have clearly shown that vitamin C at concentrations greater than 40 µmol/L (0.8 mg/dL) inhibits the oxidation of isolated LDL induced by transition metals, free-radical initiators, and activated human neutrophils and macrophages (Jialal and Grundy, 1991; Jialal et al., 1990; Scaccini and Jialal, 1994). This is because vitamin C effectively scavenges aqueous reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), which prevents them from attacking LDL. Thus, in vitro vitamin C clearly functions as an antioxidant.
Studies shown in Table 5-1 examined the effect of vitamin C supplementation alone on biomarkers of lipid peroxidation. Of the 13 studies, 7 showed that vitamin C supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in lipid oxidation products in plasma, LDL, or urine. The vitamin C supplements that resulted in positive effects ranged from 500 to 2,000 mg/day. The most convincing evidence that vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in vivo is the study by Reilly et al. (1996) showing that supplementation of smokers with 2.0 g vitamin C for 5 days was associated with a significant reduction in urinary isoprostanes, an indicator of oxidative stress. In the remaining six studies in which vitamin C was supplemented in amounts ranging from 500 to 6,000 mg/day, there was no significant effect of vitamin C supplementation on lipid oxidation products in plasma, urine, or plasma LDL.
Carr and Frei (1999) examined the effect on LDL oxidation of supplementation with vitamin C in combination with vitamin E and β-carotene. Although these investigators have clearly shown that the supplements decrease LDL oxidation, it is difficult to assess the contribution of vitamin C alone.
Vitamin C supplementation (2,000 mg/day for 4 to 12 months) in 41 patients with non-atrophic gastritis decreased gastric mucosal nitrotyrosine, a measure of RNS activity (Table 5-2) (Mannick et al., 1996). Thus, from this study and the study by Reilly et al. (1996), it can be concluded that supplementation with vitamin C results in an antioxidant effect in vivo because it significantly reduces nitrotyrosine and urinary isoprostanes.
However, with respect to the effect of vitamin C on LDL oxidation, the data are inconclusive. This could be explained by the fact