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Smoking reduces vitamin C.

Smoking Reduces Vitamin C

Tobacco users require additional quantities of vitamin C to maintain proper blood plasma levels

Few experts question the assertion that tobacco use increases the risk of cancer. Evidence also indicates the smoker's vulnerability to cardiovascular disease and obstructive lung disorders.

What is there about smoking that poses such dangers for the tobacco user and the nonsmoker exposed to sidestream smoke? Carbon monoxide, lead, carcinogens, free radicals, and other heavy metals have been implicated.

Exactly how they affect the smoker has not been precisely determined, except for the recently gained knowledge that lowered blood plasma levels of vitamin C may create an extreme susceptibility.

Scientific (pharmacokinetic) measurements have revealed a higher metabolic turnover rate of ascorbic acid in smokers than in nonsmokers. Also, vitamin C is known to react against the above-mentioned contaminants in tobacco smoke: as an antioxidant against free radicals, as a chelator of lead, and as an inhibitor of nitrosamine formation from nitrogen dioxides.

Nonsmokers who are exposed to exhalation of tobacco should also increase their intake of vitamin C. They are at increased risk of lung cancer, nasal cancer, bronchitis, and pneumonia along with other respiratory diseases.

Although the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C has been established as 60 milligrams, some physicians have been known to advocate much larger quantities. Linus Pauling, for example, notes that his daily consumption, as a nonsmoker, is 10,000 milligrams.
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Title Annotation:smokers need additional vitamin C to maintain proper blood plasma levels
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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