Cigarette smoke is capable of generating free radicals. In this study markers of free radical activity (thiobarbituric acid reactivity, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) were measured in young adult smoking and non-smoking volunteers. No significant differences were found in any of the free radical markers between the two groups. The number of leucocytes was elevated and a positive correlation was found between the number of leucocytes and thiobarbituric acid reactivity in the smokers. The results from this study suggest that any free radical activity generated from long term cigarette smoking in young adults is adequately scavenged.
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