Low Nourishment of Vitamin C Induces Glutathione Depletion and Oxidative Stress in Healthy Young Adults

  • Waly, Mostafa I. (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University) ;
  • Al-Attabi, Zahir (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University) ;
  • Guizani, Nejib (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University)
  • Received : 2015.04.13
  • Accepted : 2015.08.18
  • Published : 2015.09.30


The present study was conducted to assess the status of vitamin C among healthy young adults in relation to serum antioxidant parameters [glutathione (GSH), thiols, and total antioxidant capacity, (TAC)], and oxidative stress markers [malondialdehyde (MDA), and nitrites plus nitrates (NN)]. A prospective study included 200 young adults, and their dietary intake was assessed by using food diaries. Fasting plasma vitamin C, serum levels of GSH, thiols, TAC, MDA, and NN were measured using biochemical assays. It was observed that 38% of the enrolled subjects, n=76, had an adequate dietary intake of vitamin C (ADI group). Meanwhile, 62%, n=124, had a low dietary intake of vitamin C (LDI group) as compared to the recommended dietary allowances. The fasting plasma level of vitamin C was significantly higher in the ADI group as compared to the LDI group. Oxidative stress in the sera of the LDI group was evidenced by depletion of GSH, low thiols levels, impairment of TAC, an elevation of MDA, and increased NN. In the ADI group, positive correlations were found between plasma vitamin C and serum antioxidant parameters (GSH, thiols, and TAC). Meanwhile, the plasma vitamin C was negatively correlated with serum MDA and NN levels. This study reveals a significant increase of oxidative stress status and reduced antioxidant capacity in sera from healthy young adults with low intake of the dietary antioxidant, vitamin C.


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