Protective effects of a standardised red orange extract on air pollution-induced oxidative damage in traffic police officers

Nat Prod Res. 2008;22(17):1544-51. doi: 10.1080/14786410701740401.


Several pathological conditions have all been associated with a higher release of atmospheric pollutants. There is growing evidence that oxidative stress may represent one of the agents involved in the initiation and/or progression of many of these pathologies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of short-term dietary supplementation with a standardised red orange extract (ROC) on a group of traffic police officers exposed to traffic exhaust pollution and cigarette smoking, by measuring some noninvasive biomarkers of oxidative stress. At the beginning of the study, all the groups showed similar serum lipid hydroperoxide levels, but traffic officers showed lower serum concentrations of thiol (SH) groups; furthermore, the frequency of spontaneous sister chromatide exchanges (SCEs) in peripheral lymphocytes was increased by smoking (but not by pollution exposure alone) at a higher degree in subjects exposed to traffic pollution. After 1 month of ROC administration, serum lipid hydroperoxide levels decreased only in all non-smoking subjects; furthermore, SH group levels measured in traffic officers appeared restored to normal values observed in the respective controls. Finally, the increase in SCE frequency induced by smoking was reduced by treatment with ROC especially in traffic officers. Our study suggests that ROC supplementation could be useful to minimise the detrimental effects caused by exposure to air pollution and smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / blood
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Oxidants / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / blood
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Police
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Vehicle Emissions


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Oxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Vehicle Emissions