Serum Vitamins' Status in Oral Leucoplakias--A Preliminary Study

Eur J Cancer B Oral Oncol. 1996 Mar;32B(2):120-2. doi: 10.1016/0964-1955(95)00076-3.


Vitamins, such as A, beta carotene, C, E, B12 and folate, are the micronutrients with the strongest evidence of having a link to cancer prevention and control. Deficiency of these vitamins at the dietary, systemic or mucosal level will interact with tobacco use and increase the risk of oral precancerous lesions. The objective of this study was to (1) establish the baseline circulating levels of these vitamins in our normal population with and without tobacco use and (2) compare these levels with the values obtained in cases of oral leucoplakias. 50 normal controls with 25 each in chewers and non-chewers, matched for age and sex, were selected. 50 cases of oral leucoplakias (clinically detectable white patches) from the field constituted the study group. Simultaneous measurement of serum vitamin B12 and folate were carried out by radioassay. The other serum vitamins were estimated spectrophotometrically. Except for serum vitamin E, all the other serum vitamin levels were significantly decreased in oral leucoplakias compared to the controls. Cancer chemopreventive agents acting as inhibitors of both initiation and promotion, as analysed in our population, is promising for further intervention trials.

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Humans
  • Leukoplakia, Oral / blood*
  • Leukoplakia, Oral / etiology
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Vitamins / blood*
  • beta Carotene


  • Vitamins
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Ascorbic Acid