Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cigarette smoking on serum oxidative damage, antioxidant status, and mineral concentrations in teenage girls.
Methods: Subjects were randomly chosen from female senior high school students (15-17 y) in a rural community in Korea. Smoker (n = 19) was defined as a person who had smoked 10 or more cigarettes/d continually for at least 1 y while non-smoker (n = 19) was a person who had no previous smoking experience. All individuals in smoker group had serum cotinine concentrations greater than 110 ng/mL, and those in non-smoker group had concentrations of less than 30 ng/mL. Serum oxidative defense enzyme activities, serum antioxidant nutrient concentrations, anthropometric data, and dietary nutrient intakes were evaluated.
Results: Serum selenium glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and extracellular superoxide dismutase activities were lower in smokers than in non-smokers. Serum ascorbic acid and folate concentrations were lower in smokers than in non-smokers, whereas serum thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) were higher. Serum copper, iron, and magnesium concentrations were similar in the two groups. Serum zinc concentrations were higher in smokers.
Conclusions: Teenagers with a short smoking history can have evidence of oxidative stress (high serum TBARS and low serum ascorbic acid and folate concentrations) and an impaired oxidant defense system. However, in contrast to common findings in adult smokers, blood pressure was lower in teenage smokers, and hypozincemia and hypercupremia were not observed. Alterations observed in mineral metabolism in adult smokers are probably secondary to chronic diseases associated with long-term smoking.