AIM: To test the hypothesis that Vitamin C concentrations in plasma, polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leucocytes (PMNs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are lower in Periodontitis patients compared with healthy controls. METHODS: Twenty-one untreated periodontal patients and 21 healthy controls matched for age, gender, race and smoking habits were selected. Dietary Vitamin C intake was assessed by a self-administered dietary record. Fasting blood samples were obtained and analysed for Vitamin C concentrations in plasma, PMNs and PBMCs by means of high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). RESULTS: Plasma Vitamin C was lower in Periodontitis patients compared with controls (8.3 and 11.3?mg/l, respectively, p?=?0.03). Only in the control group a positive correlation was present between Vitamin C intake and plasma values. No differences could be assessed between patients and controls regarding Vitamin C dietary intake and levels in PMNs and PBMCs. In the patient group, pocket depth appeared to be negatively associated with the Vitamin C concentration in PMNs. CONCLUSION: Although the relationship between low plasma Vitamin C levels and Periodontitis is clear, the disease cannot be explained by insufficient Vitamin C storage capacity of leucocytes; the question remains through which mechanism low plasma Vitamin C levels are related to Periodontitis.
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