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

34 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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