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Smoking status in relation to serum folate and dietary vitamin intake

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Author(s): Vardavas Constantine | Linardakis Manolis | Hatzis Christos | Malliaraki Niki | Saris Wim | Kafatos Anthony

Journal: Tobacco Induced Diseases
ISSN 1617-9625

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Objective Cigarette smoke itself is an abundant source of free radicals and a major cause of oxidative stress, to which plasma antioxidants function as a vital protective and counterbalancing mechanism. The objective of this study was to investigate into the relationship between smoking status and serum and dietary micronutrient concentrations. Design Cross-sectional study Subjects – Setting 502 farmers from the Valley of Messara in Crete were randomly selected and examined. Complete three-day and 24-hr recall questionnaires were collected along with anthropometrical, physical activity and clinical data from all participating subjects. Results After adjusting for age, gender and number of fasting days adhered to per year, current smokers were found to have a lower dietary intake of vitamin C (112.1 mg vs. 136.4 mg, p = 0.03), fibre (16.6 g vs. 19.1 g, p = 0.006) and fruits and vegetables (339 g vs. 412 g, p = 0.014), while dietary vitamin B1 intake was found to be higher (1.7 mg vs. 1.4 mg, p = 0.02) in comparison to non/ex smokers. Dietary intake of meat, folate and vitami A, E, B2, B6 and B12 did not differ between the groups. Controlling age, gender, fasting days and dietary micronutrient intake, serum folate levels were found to be lower among smokers (geometric mean 15.3 nmol/L vs. 17.7 nmol/L, p = 0.023), while serum iron and vitamin B12 levels were not affected by smoking status. Conclusion Current smoking status affects dietary nutrient intake as well as plasma folate levels. The above coherence between antioxidant depletion and reduced antioxidant intake may predispose smokers to the premature development of tobacco related mortality and morbidity.

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