Household exposure to passive smoke depletes some vitamins in non-smokers

November 23, 2000

Passive smoking is considered causally associated with lung cancer and ischemic heart disease. Smokers and those who live in the same household have worse diets than nonsmokers, consuming fewer servings of fruits and vegetables which are rich sources of micronutrients. Alberg et al. studied the serum micronutrient levels of subjects, usually spouses, who were living with active smokers. Among these non- and former smokers, exposure to passive smoke was associated with low serum concentrations of the same carotenoids that are depleted by active smoking. Though the data were conclusive in demonstrating that the passive smokers were nutrient-depleted, further studies which additionally assess dietary intake of the subjects will be needed to determine whether depletion of antioxidants is due to smoke exposure, shared inadequate diets, or both.

The study population of 1590 individuals were equally divided between men and women, averaged 54 years of age, and were nearly all Caucasian. Results of serum analyses for micronutrient levels were correlated with census data on a number of lifestyle factors, including smoking status. Eighty-four percent of the subjects exposed to passive smoke had a spouse who smoked. Never and former smokers had consistently lower serum concentrations of total carotenoids, b-carotene, a-carotene, and cryptoxanthin than did those not exposed to smoking at home. The strikingly similar profiles between active and passive smokers with respect to their relative carotenoid deficiencies points to cigarette smoke exposure as a possible cause of the subjects' low micronutrient levels.

An accompanying editorial by Albert van der Vliet emphasizes that the development of carcinogenesis and atherosclerosis follows a very complex multistage course, involving inflammatory-immune processes and genetic factors in addition to the influence of antioxidant micronutrients such as b-carotene. He recommends against supplementation with b-carotene for those exposed to passive smoke because several recent trials have been unsuccessful, and because recent studies have indicated that although b-carotene itself has anticarcinogenic characteristics, it can form carotenoid metabolites with procarcinogenic properties, especially in response to cigarette smoke-induced stress.
-end-
Alberg, Anthony et al. Household exposure to passive cigarette smoking and serum micronutrient concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:1576-82.
Van der Vliet, Albert. Cigarettes, cancer, and carotenoids: a continuing, unresolved antioxidant paradox. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:1421-3.

This media release is provided by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, to provide current information on nutrition-related research. This information should not be construed as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, consult your doctor. To see the complete text of this article, please go to: http://www.faseb.org/ajcn/December/(11578)-Alberg.PDF or http://www.faseb.org/ajcn/December/(12249)-vanderVl.PDF

For more information please contact: aalberg@jhsph.edu or avandervliet@ucdavis.edu

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.