The levels of vitamin C in plasma, mononuclear (MN) and polymorphonuclear (PMN) leucocytes were measured in healthy, free-living, young and elderly women on three occasions over an 8-10-week period: (a) at entry into the study, (b) following 5 weeks of dietary depletion of vitamin C, and (c) following 3 weeks of supplementation with 500 mg of vitamin C per day. The combined mean vitamin C levels (expressed as μg/108 cells) in MN cells were higher than those found in PMN cells at all three times, although the difference was only statisticallly significant in the depleted state. There were no age-related differences in the levels of vitamin C in plasma, MN or PMN cells at any of the three times. Significant overall differences in vitamin C levels between the entry and depleted and the depleted and supplemented states were observed for plasma and PMN cells but not for MN cells, possibly indicating that plasma and PMN cells are more sensitive indicators of vitamin C status than MN cells. The mean levels of vitamin C found in plasma clearly do 'track' those found in MN and PMN cells. However, attempted correlations between plasma and MN, plasma and PMN, and MN and PMN vitamin C levels at each time proved to be non-significant. In addition, the changes in vitamin C levels from entry to depleted and from depleted to supplemented times were non-significant when comparing plasma to MN and plasma to PMN, whereas the MN vs PMN comparison indicated a significant change in vitamin C levels between the depleted and supplemented states. Thus, although the average plasma levels reflect changes in the mean MN and PMN vitamin C levels, were not reliable in predicting the MN or PMN levels within an individual.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||European Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics