Carr, A.C.; Spencer, E.; Dixon, L.; Chambers, S.T. Patients with Community Acquired Pneumonia Exhibit Depleted Vitamin C Status and Elevated Oxidative Stress. Nutrients2020, 12, 1318.
Carr, A.C.; Spencer, E.; Dixon, L.; Chambers, S.T. Patients with Community Acquired Pneumonia Exhibit Depleted Vitamin C Status and Elevated Oxidative Stress. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1318.
Pneumonia is a severe lower respiratory tract infection that is a common complication and a major cause of mortality of the vitamin C-deficiency disease scurvy. This suggests an important link between vitamin C status and lower respiratory tract infections. Due to the paucity of information on the vitamin C status of patients with pneumonia, we assessed the vitamin C status of 50 patients with community-acquired pneumonia and compared these with 50 healthy community controls. The pneumonia cohort comprised 44 patients recruited through the Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) and 6 patients recruited through the intensive care unit (ICU); mean age 68 ± 17 years, 54% male. Clinical, microbiological and haematological parameters were recorded. Blood samples were tested for vitamin C status using HPLC with electrochemical detection and protein carbonyl concentrations, a marker of oxidative stress, using ELISA. Patients with pneumonia had depleted vitamin C status compared with healthy controls (23 ± 14 µmol/L vs 56 ± 24 µmol/L, P <0.001). The more severe patients in the ICU had significantly lower vitamin C status than those recruited through AMAU (11 ± 3 µmol/L vs 24 ± 14 µmol/L, P = 0.02). The total pneumonia cohort comprised 62% with hypovitaminosis C and 22% with deficiency, compared with only 8% hypovitaminosis C and no cases of deficiency in the healthy controls. The pneumonia cohort also exhibited significantly elevated protein carbonyl concentrations compared with the healthy controls (P < 0.001), indicating enhanced oxidative stress in the patients. We were able to collect subsequent samples form 28% of the cohort (mean 2.7 ± 1.7 days; range 1-7 days). These showed no significant differences in vitamin C status or protein carbonyl concentrations compared with baseline values (P = 0.6). Overall, the depleted vitamin C status and elevated oxidative stress observed in the patients with pneumonia indicates an enhanced requirement for the vitamin during their illness. Due to the important roles that vitamin C plays in the immune system, low vitamin C status is possibly both a cause and a consequence of the disease. Therefore, these patients would likely benefit from additional vitamin C supplementation to restore their blood and tissue levels to optimal. This may decrease oxidative stress and aid in their recovery.
vitamin C; ascorbic acid; ascorbate; pneumonia; community acquired pneumonia; oxidative stress; protein carbonyls; hypovitaminosis C; vitamin C deficiency
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