Correlates of plasma vitamin C and predicted dietary requirements for cigarette smokers

Academic Article


  • A cross-sectional study was carried out among 39 current smokers (CS) and 60 noncurrent smokers (NCS) to evaluate the association between cigarette smoking and dietary habits, dietary vitamin C intake and vitamin C concentrations in the circulation. There were important dietary differences between smokers and nonsmokers, all tending towards unhealthy patterns. Smokers consumed significantly more fat, alcohol, caffeine, cholesterol, eggs, hot dogs/lunch meats, fried fish/chicken and significantly less fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and whole grains or bran cereal. The dietary vitamin C intake was significantly lower among CS compared to NCS ((p < 0.05). The mean plasma vitamin C concentration was also lower among CS compared to NCS. The vitamin C intake was the most important predictor of plasma vitamin C. The negative effect of dietary calorie intake on plasma vitamin C approached statistical significance(p = 0.07). The study suggested a transient effect of cigarette smoking on plasma vitamin C concentrations although the association with smoking was not statistically significant. At lower ranges of dietary vitamin C intake the relationship between dietary vitamin C intake and plasma vitamin C concentrations differed between smokers and nonsmokers. The results suggested that the current RDA for vitamin C for smokers is adequate to obtain a plasma vitamin C concentration that was comparable to that of a nonsmoker with the same dietary intake.
  • Published In

  • The FASEB Journal  Journal
  • Author List

  • Piyathilake CJ; Maurizio M; Heimburger DC
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 3