Quitting Smoking Raises Whole Blood Glutathione

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
Physiology & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.98). 11/1996; 60(5):1379-81. DOI: 10.1016/S0031-9384(96)00328-9
Source: PubMed


Cigarette smoke contains numerous oxygen free radicals that may be important in smoking-related disease pathogenesis. These free radicals may overwhelm antioxidant defenses and produce a condition of oxidative stress that can result in damage to DNA and other cellular components. This study investigated whether or not indications of harmful oxidative stress decline following smoking cessation. Changes in whole blood glutathione (GSH), an index of oxidative stress level, were determined for 30 cigarette smokers who participated in an experimental smoking-cessation program. Measurements were taken during ad lib smoking and 3 weeks after smoking cessation. In 22 individuals who were continuously abstinent for 3 weeks, GSH levels rose significantly following smoking cessation, from 5.0 to 6.1 mumol/g Hb (p < 0.001). Individuals with the lowest GSH levels during ad lib smoking showed the greatest increases following cessation. Results suggest that oxidative stress and free-radical damage diminish soon after smoking cessation. Thus, some significant health benefits may appear rapidly when people quit smoking.

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    • "Conversely, high levels of total GSH in blood is found in healthy elderly subjects (Pastore et al. 2003). Oxidative stress caused by tobacco smoke has been reflected by lowered levels of whole blood GSH, which increases 3 weeks after smoking cessation (Lane et al. 1996). Likewise oxidative stress in chronic kidney disease is associated with reduced blood and tissue GSH levels (Vaziri 2004). "
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    Air Quality Atmosphere & Health 03/2011; 4(1):37-52. DOI:10.1007/s11869-010-0095-2 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Oxidative stress and free radical-induced damage diminishes soon after smoking cessation [30]. Smoking cessation is associated with increase in GSH levels, observed within weeks after a person stops smoking, which in turn may be associated with improvement in risk factors for pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases [30]. Erythrocytes of smokers show a greater susceptibility to hydrogen-peroxide-induced peroxidation than those of non-smokers before supplementation with vitamin E [31]. "
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