Efficacy of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and/N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) Supplementation on Nutritional and Antioxidant Status of Male Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2016;62(1):54-61. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.62.54.


Antioxidant therapy has a potential to be introduced as therapeutic modality for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. This study aimed to determine the effect of antioxidant supplementation [ascorbic acid and N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)] on nutritional and antioxidant status in male COPD patients. A parallel and single blind randomised controlled clinical trial (RCT) was conducted at two medical centers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Seventy-nine subjects were recruited and randomly divided into four trial arms (i.e., NAC, vitamin C, NAC+vitamin C and control groups) for six mo. The primary outcome was changes in body mass index by estimating power of 90% and significance level of p<0.05. Repeated Measure ANOVA showed that there was a significant interaction effect on BMI (p=0.046) and carbohydrate intake (p=0.030), especially in the NAC group. Plasma glutathione (GSH) increased significantly in all intervention groups, especially in vitamin C (p=0.005). A single supplementation of NAC or vitamin C improved nutritional and antioxidant status of subjects.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin A / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Vitamin A
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Acetylcysteine