Serum total sialic acid levels in smokers and users of smokeless tobacco in form of oral powder (Maraş powder).
ABSTRACT Smokeless tobacco (ST) is widely used as chewing tobacco and as oral snuff in the world. Also, in Kahramanmaraş, a city in Southern Turkey, ST used as 'oral powder' or 'Maraş Powder' is consumed widely instead of cigarette smoking. The aim of this study was to search the effect of ST use on serum total sialic acid (TSA) and to compare the serum TSA levels in smokers and ST users. The study was performed at the Department of Chemistry-Biochemistry, University of Kahramamaraş Sutcu Imam, Turkey, in 2003. Serum samples obtained from smokers (Group I), Maraş powder users (Group II), and healthy control subjects (Group III) who were nonsmokers and nonusers ST. Individuals who were smokers and ST users were classified into subgroups with respect to amount of consumed cigarette or oral powder. Serum TSA was measured with the Denny's colorimetric method. The TSA concentrations were significantly higher in the sera of smokers (p < 0.001) and Maraş powder users (p < 0.001) than those of control subjects. The mean serum TSA level was found to be lowest in the control group and highest in the Maraş Powder users. But, there was no significant difference in serum TSA levels between smokers and Maraş powder users (p > 0.05). We can conclude from the results obtained that serum TSA was affected by ST use as seen in smokers. This finding may be an indication of harmful effects of ST use as Maraş powder as well as cigarette smoking.