Effect of ascorbic acid-rich diet on in vivo-induced oxidative stress

Renata Alleva, Ferruccio Di Donato, Elisabetta Strafella, Sara Staffolani, Linda Nocchi, Battista Borghi, Elettra Pignotti, Lory Santarelli, Marco Tomasetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy as an in vivo oxidation model, we investigated the effect of a diet enriched in ascorbic acid (AA) on HBO-induced oxidative stress. Volunteers (n 46) were allocated to the AA-rich diet group or the control group. Blood samples were collected at the basal time, after the 1-week diet before and immediately after the HBO treatment, and 1 week after the HBO treatment. AA level, total antioxidant status (TAS), hydroperoxides (HP), lymphocyte DNA oxidation and DNA repair capacity were assessed. The expression of genes involved in oxidative stress was evaluated in lymphocytes and the protein activity of the modulated genes was determined in the plasma. The AA level and the antioxidant status of plasma were increased by AA-rich food consumption. HBO exposure did not affect the AA levels or TAS, but induced HP formation in the control group. The lymphocytes isolated from dietary-supplemented subjects were resistant to ex vivo DNA oxidation, showing an increased DNA repair capacity compared with controls. A difference in gene expression pattern was observed between the groups. AA-rich foods provide dual protection against oxidative stress, enhancing plasma antioxidant levels and stimulating genes involved in cell detoxification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1654
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2012


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Diet intake
  • Gene expression
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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