Exhaled ethane and antioxidant vitamin supplements in active smokers

Bao Khanh Q. Do, Harinder S. Garewal, Neil C. Clements, Yei Mei Peng, Michael P. Habib

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Scopus citations


    To determine the effect of nutritional agents on lipid peroxidation, 10 smokers were given 6 mg betacarotene, 200 IU vitamin E, and 250 mg vitamin C 4 times daily for 3 weeks. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by measuring baseline and postsupplementation levels of exhaled ethane. There was a 29% decrease in mean (± SD) exhaled ethane (4.06 ± 1.49 vs 2.90 ± 1.29 pmol · kg-1 · min-1), with individual levels decreasing in 8 of the 10 smokers (p<0.05, Wilcoxon sign rank test). Three nonsmokers had very low baseline levels of ethane that did not change with supplementation. Ethane production correlated with active (packs per day) and lifelong (pack-years) tobacco consumption. Also, a strong correlation was found between the decline in ethane output after micronutrient supplementation and the presupplement FEV1. Therefore, antioxidant vitamin supplementation resulted in attenuation of smoking-related lipid peroxidation, and the decreases in ethane production appears to be associated with preserved lung function.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)159-164
    Number of pages6
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1996


    • ascorbic acid
    • carotene
    • ethane
    • lipid peroxidation
    • smoking
    • vitamin E

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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