TORONTO, CANADA. Previous work carried out at the University of Toronto and the Toronto General Hospital has shown that Crohn's disease (CD) patients are under increased oxidative stress and have lower antioxidant levels than do healthy controls. Now the medical researchers involved in this early work report that daily supplementation with vitamin C and vitamin E markedly reduces the level of oxidative stress and substantially increases antioxidant levels in CD patients. The clinical trial involved 57 CD patients with stable, inactive or mildly active disease. The patients were randomized to receive a placebo or 800 IU of vitamin E plus 1000 mg of vitamin C daily for a 4-week period. At the end of the period all participants were tested for blood level of antioxidants and degree of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress was measured by breath pentane and ethane output, plasma lipid peroxides, and F2-isoprostane levels. The patients also completed a 7-day dietary record and were advised regarding their intake of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
After four weeks the average plasma level of vitamin C was 90 micromol/L in the supplemented patients
versus only 57 micromol/L in the placebo group. Corresponding values for vitamin E were 69 mmol/L and
25 mmol/L respectively. Breath pentane and ethane output, plasma lipid peroxides, and plasma
isoprostanes levels were also very significantly reduced in the vitamin group over the 4-week period. The
researchers conclude that supplementation with vitamins C and E is highly effective in increasing blood
levels of these antioxidants and also markedly reduces oxidative stress in CD patients.