University of Washington PhD student Lizzy Kantor published the following work as part of her dissertation. Lizzy is currently a postdoc at Harvard University.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Specialty supplement Use and Biologic Measures of Oxidative Stress and DNA Damage.

Kantor ED, Ulrich CM, Owen RW, Schmezer P, Neuhouser ML, Lampe JW, Peters U, Shen DD, Vaughan TL, White E.


Oxidative stress and resulting cellular damage have been suggested to play a role in the etiology of several chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Identifying factors associated with reduced oxidative stress and resulting damage may guide future disease-prevention strategies. In the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) biomarker-study of 209 persons living in the Seattle area, we examined the association between current use of several specialty supplements and oxidative stress, DNA damage, and DNA repair capacity. Use of glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), ginseng, ginkgo, and saw palmetto was ascertained by a supplement inventory/interview, while use of fiber supplements was ascertained by questionnaire. Supplements used by more than 30 persons (glucosamine and chondroitin) were evaluated as the trend across number of pills/week (non-use, <14 pills/week, 14+ pills/week), while less-commonly used supplements were evaluated as use/non-use. Oxidative stress was measured by urinary 8-isoprostane and PGF2? concentrations using enzyme immunoassays (EIA), while lymphocyte DNA damage and DNA repair capacity were measured using the Comet assay. Multivariate-adjusted linear regression was used to model the associations between supplement use and oxidative stress/DNA damage. Use of glucosamine (p-trend:0.01), chondroitin (p-trend:0.003), and fiber supplements (p:0.01) was associated with reduced PGF2? concentrations, while CoQ10 supplementation was associated with reduced baseline DNA damage (p:0.003). Use of certain specialty supplements may be associated with reduced oxidative stress and DNA damage. Further research is needed to evaluate the association between specialty supplement use and markers of oxidative stress and DNA damage.