Smoking Could Bar Helpful Vitamin C
February 21, 2007 12:07pm CST
Smoking might lower levels of vitamin C and therefore increase the risk of death for smokers and their children. Healthy adults with high blood levels of vitamin C had half the risk of death than people with lower levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, preventing harmful processes throughout the body by removing chemicals called free radicals. High levels of free radicals in tobacco smoke may lower levels of vitamin C in smokers and children subjected to secondhand smoke. Research studied over 3,000 children and teenagers ranging in age from four to 18. Smokers' children averaged 20 percent less vitamin C, and the more the parents smoked, the lower the levels of the vitamin.