Antioxidant Vitamins Are Correlated with Different Aspects of Phagocytic Processes in Healthy Nigerians: Benefits As Supplements During Antimicrobial Treatment


Background: Antioxidant vitamins are important for the immune system to function efficiently through several mechanisms. However, according to several previous studies, individual step of leucocyte phagocytosis is not correlated with different antioxidant vitamins.

Methods: This study included 50 healthy Nigerians whose cellular phagocytic mechanism such as percentage leucocyte migration (%LM) and intracellular killing (%Nitroblue Tetrazolium Test) were determined by microscopy, neutrophil chemokines [plasma interleukin 8 (IL-8)] was determined using ELISA, and respiratory burst indices [plasma catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), myeloperoxidase (MPO), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and nitric oxide (NO)] were determined by spectrophotometry. While the plasma antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) were determined using HPLC, the phagocytic indices, chemokines, and respiratory burst indices were correlated with plasma antioxidant vitamins using Spearman’s Correlation analysis at α0.05.

Results: The results show that although among the healthy Nigerian adults, vitamin C was significantly and positively correlated with %NBT, it was negatively correlated with CAT activity. Vitamin A showed a significantly positive correlation with SOD while Vitamin E showed a significantly negative correlation with MPO.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that antioxidant vitamins affect different stages of phagocytosis. It is advisable to use a combination of antioxidant vitamins as supplements with recommended treatment strategies against intracellular micro-organisms or inflammatory diseases.

Keywords: Antioxidants, Intracellular microbial killing, Vitamins

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