Annals of Tropical Pathology

: 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119--121

The total antioxidant status and antioxidant vitamins in Gombe, Nigeria

S Adamu1, OM Akinosun2, FM Abbiyesuku2, Jibril M El-Bashir3, JD Abubakar4,  
1 Department of Chemical Pathology, College of Medical Sciences, Gombe State University and Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Ibadan, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, Gombe State University and Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S Adamu
Department of Chemical Pathology, Gombe State University, Gombe


Background: Measuring individual oxidants and antioxidants as markers of oxidative stress may be expensive, time-consuming, and open to a great deal of errors. In addition to freedom from the above, total antioxidant status (TAS) combines the synergistic effects of all the antioxidants in the system including those yet to be discovered. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) and TAS in Gombe, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Pearson's correlation was used to correlate between plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) and TAS among 180 people. Antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography and TAS was analyzed using standard colorimetric methods. Results: The mean age of the participants is 29.14 ± 3.6 years, and the mean body mass index is 23.26 ± 3.1. There was a significant strong (P < 0.001) positive correlation between TAS and Vitamin A (r = 0.59), Vitamin E (r = 0.52), and Vitamin C (r = 0.62). Conclusion: This study has demonstrated a high level of correlation between plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) and TAS. This is an indication that TAS may assume a clinical status as a marker of oxidative stress. It may reduce the number of analytes, cost, time, and errors involved in assessing individual oxidants and antioxidants as markers of oxidative stress.

How to cite this article:
Adamu S, Akinosun O M, Abbiyesuku F M, El-Bashir JM, Abubakar J D. The total antioxidant status and antioxidant vitamins in Gombe, Nigeria.Ann Trop Pathol 2019;10:119-121

How to cite this URL:
Adamu S, Akinosun O M, Abbiyesuku F M, El-Bashir JM, Abubakar J D. The total antioxidant status and antioxidant vitamins in Gombe, Nigeria. Ann Trop Pathol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Oct 1 ];10:119-121
Available from:

Full Text


Oxidative stress, which occurs when free radicals usually reactive oxygen species (ROS) rate of generation exceeds the available antioxidant defenses, is implicated in many chronic diseases including cancers, hearing loss, the central nervous system, lung, liver, kidney, and heart diseases.[1],[2],[3] Oxidative stress occurs due to the increased production of ROS and/or because of a deficiency of antioxidant defenses. Antioxidant deficiencies can develop as a result of decreased antioxidants (such as Vitamins A, C, and E), either due to decreased intake or due to increased utilization by the body.

Different researchers evaluate oxidative stress using different markers. These include measuring the ROS, antioxidants (vitamins, trace metals, etc.), or the products of the oxidative process. These are done either alone or in combination.[4],[5],[6] This involves consumption of a lot of resources including time and materials. This problem will be minimized by measuring total antioxidant status (TAS) which combines the synergistic effects of all the antioxidants including those yet to be known in the body.[7],[8] It also saves time and other resources while reducing the errors that could arise from assaying individual antioxidants and/or oxidants.

However, few studies are available that correlate the TAS with antioxidants. Understanding the relationship will help in generating data to be used in the timely and cost-effective clinical assessment of oxidative stress. This study, therefore, correlates TAS with antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E).

 Materials and Methods


This study was conducted in the Department of Chemical Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan. The hospital serves as a major referral center in Nigeria. The participants in the study were recruited from Gombe State, North East Nigeria.


This was a cross-sectional study approved by both the Gombe State Ethical Committee and the Joint Ethical Review Committee of the University of Ibadan/University College Hospital, Ibadan, recruiting 180 participants after obtaining their informed consent.

Anthropometric measurements

Height (HT) – This was measured to the nearest centimeter against a flat, vertical surface with the participants standing upright. A sliding headpiece was brought to the vertex of the participant's head, and the reading at this level was takenWeight (WT) – This was taken with a salter bathroom scale placed on a flat surface. The reading was recorded to the nearest 0.5 kg. Body mass index (BMI) was then calculated using the formula:


Their blood pressure was measured using standard procedures. Random plasma glucose was done using a glucometer. The questionnaires were administered to participants who were asked to fast for sample collection the next morning.

Sample collection and laboratory procedures

Five milliliters of fasting venous blood was collected from each of the 180 participants into a heparinized plastic tube. Plasma was separated by centrifugation and frozen within an hour of collection till the time of analysis.

Total antioxidant status estimation

TAS was estimated in this study by the method described by Koracevic et al., 2001.[9]

Vitamin A, C, and E assays were performed using an ultrasensitive and specific high-performance liquid chromatography.[10]

Statistical analysis

The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistics, version 20, New York, USA for Windows. The mean (X) and standard deviation (SD) for HT, WT, BMI, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and TAS of the study participants were computed. The mean (X) and SDs for antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) were also computed.

Pearson correlation coefficient was used to establish the relationship between TAS and antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E).


The mean ± SD of age, BMI, SBP, and DBP is 29.14 ± 3.60, 23.26 ± 3.14 kg/M2, 130 ± 13.6 mmHg, 77 ± 5.6 mmHg, respectively. Fifty percent (90) of the respondents are petrol dispensers. Ten (11.1%) are teachers, 9 (10%) are farmers, 17 (18.9%) are students, and 20 (22.2%) are other occupations. The mean ± SD of TAS, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E is 0.94 ± 0.46 mmol/L, 62.09 ± 9.71 μg/dl, 0.86 ± 0.23 μg/dl, and 0.86 ± 019 μg/dl, respectively [Table 1].{Table 1}

There is a statistically significant positive correlation between TAS and antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, E, and C) [Table 2].{Table 2}


The measurement of TAS has been shown to be a better marker of oxidative stress than the individual antioxidants and oxidants[7],[11] because it combines the synergistic effects of all the antioxidants in the system including those yet to be discovered.[7],[8] In addition, it may also reduce cost, time, and errors involved in measuring the individual oxidants and antioxidants. The TAS, in this study, shows a strong positive correlation with antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E).

Some biomarkers of oxidative stress been exploited include antioxidant vitamins such as β-carotene and other carotenoids, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.[4] Others are antioxidant trace metals such as selenium, zinc, cobalt, and copper.[5] Some researchers measure antioxidant enzymes including catalase,[12],[13],[14] superoxide dismutase,[13],[14],[15],[16] glutathione peroxidase,[12],[13] and thioredoxin reductase,[17] whereas others exploit the products of lipids, protein, or nucleic acid oxidation.[18] These can be said to be too many if all are done to prove the presence of oxidative stress. Can TAS be used as a marker in place of various combinations of oxidants and antioxidants? This study has demonstrated a high correlation between TAS and antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E). These findings are similar to what was found in other studies.[7],[19],[20],[21] Other studies found a simultaneous decrease in TAS and some antioxidant vitamins in people exposed to oxidative stress.[22]

There are other studies which show a positive correlation between TAS and other antioxidants such as polyphenols, superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase enzymes, bilirubin, uric acid, and minerals.[19],[23] Some of these studies have suggested the joint action and synergy of these antioxidants in combating oxidative injuries and the fact that TAS may represent this synergy between all the antioxidants in the body including those yet to be discovered.[7],[8],[24]

Since it is now evident from the pool of data provided by various researches that oxidative stress contributes to the etiology and pathogenesis of various chronic diseases and their complications, the finding, therefore, of the high correlation between TAS and antioxidant vitamins in this study as well as others that show a correlation of TAS and other antioxidants may predict the possibility of TAS overtaking all others as a maker of oxidative status of an individual. This may help in preventing chronic diseases and their complications. This is further supported by the suggestion of TAS combining the joint action and synergy of all antioxidants including those not yet discovered.

The reduction of cost and time spent in assessing the various individual antioxidants and the reduction of possibility of errors associated with such measurements are other benefits of accepting TAS as a leading clinical maker of oxidative status. Assessing nutritional supplementation may be more easily monitored using TAS than individual antioxidants since assessing all the antioxidants and their synergy including those not discovered may only be assessed using TAS.


This study has demonstrated a positive correlation between TAS and antioxidant vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E). We suggest that in combination with evidence from other studies, TAS assumes a clinical status for determining the oxidative status of individuals with chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress. Risk assessment for developing complications in such patients may also be considered using TAS. It should also be considered as a maker for monitoring nutritional supplementation in patients requiring such supplement.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Abraham S. Review: Oxidative stress and disease. J Ocular Pharmacol Ther 2009;16:193-201.
2Berlett BS, Stadtman ER. Protein oxidation in aging, disease, and oxidative stress. J Biol Chem 1997;272:20313-6.
3Adamu S, Akinosun OM, Abbiyesuku FM, Kuti MAO, Jibril ME, Oluwatoyin GO, Alaya RO, et al. Are roadside petrol dispensers at risk of renal dysfunction? A study from Gombe, North East Nigeria. Borno Med J 2015;12:16-22.
4Adamu S, Akinosun O, Abbiyesuku F, Kuti M, El-Bashir J, Marafa BG. Evaluation of antioxidant vitamins among roadside gasoline dispensers in Gombe, Nigeria. J Environ Occup Sci 2015;4:145-9.
5Adamu S, Akinosun O, Abbiyesuku FM, Kuti M, El-Bashir J, Abubakar J. Antioxidant trace metals among roadside petrol dispensers in Gombe state. Br J Med Med Res 2016;14:1-7.
6Cai L, Klein JB, Kang YJ. Metallothionein inhibits peroxynitrite-induced DNA and lipoprotein damage. J Biol Chem 2000;275:38957-60.
7Ghiselli A, Serafini M, Natella F, Scaccini C. Total antioxidant capacity as a tool to assess redox status: Critical view and experimental data. Free Radic Biol Med 2000;29:1106-14.
8Myriam LO, Magda CP, Martha LB, Gonzalo S, Vivian MC, Ángela SG, et al. Relationship between vitamin intake and total antioxidant capacity in elderly adults. Univ Sci 2016;21:167-77.
9Koracevic D, Koracevic G, Djordjevic V, Andrejevic S, Cosic V. Method for the measurement of antioxidant activity in human fluids. J Clin Pathol 2001;54:356-61.
10Casado Á, Castellanos A, López-Fernández ME, Ruiz R, López Imedio E, Castillo C, et al. Determination of oxidative and occupational stress in palliative care workers. Clin Chem Lab Med 2011;49:471-7.
11Fasola F, Adedapo K, Anetor J, Kuti M. Total antioxidants status and some hematological values in sickle cell disease patients in steady state. J Natl Med Assoc 2007;99:891-4.
12Mallol J, Aguirre V, Espinosa V. Increased oxidative stress in children with post infectious bronchiolitis obliterans. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2011;39:253-8.
13Cemek M, Büyükokuroǧlu ME, Hazman Ö, Bulut S, Konuk M, Birdane Y. Antioxidant enzyme and element status in heroin addiction or heroin withdrawal in rats: Effect of melatonin and Vitamin E plus se. Biol Trace Elem Res 2011;139:41-54.
14Krumrych W. Blood antioxidant defence in horses during physical exercises. Bull Vet Instit Pulawy 2010;54:617-24.
15Fabiani R, De Bartolomeo A, Morozzi G. Involvement of oxygen free radicals in the serum-mediated increase of benzoquinone genotoxicity. Environ Mol Mutagen 2005;46:156-63.
16Karagözler AA, Mehmet N, Batçioglu K. Effects of long-term solvent exposure on blood cytokine levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in house painters. J Toxicol Environ Health A 2002;65:1237-46.
17Qu Y, Wang J, Ray PS, Guo H, Huang J, Shin-Sim M, et al. Thioredoxin-like 2 regulates human cancer cell growth and metastasis via redox homeostasis and NF-κB signaling. J Clin Invest 2011;121:212-25.
18Jacob RA, Aiello GM, Stephensen CB, Blumberg JB, Milbury PE, Wallock LM, et al. Moderate antioxidant supplementation has no effect on biomarkers of oxidant damage in healthy men with low fruit and vegetable intakes. J Nutr 2003;133:740-3.
19Vieira FG, Di Pietro PF, da Silva EL, Borges GS, Nunes EC, Fett R. Improvement of serum antioxidant status in humans after the acute intake of apple juices. Nutr Res 2012;32:229-32.
20Odum EP, Ejilemele AA, Wakwe VC. Antioxidant status of type 2 diabetic patients in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract 2012;15:55-8.
21Hong SY, Hwang KY, Lee EY, Eun SW, Cho SR, Han CS, et al. Effect of Vitamin C on plasma total antioxidant status in patients with paraquat intoxication. Toxicol Lett 2002;126:51-9.
22Akpotuzor JO, Udoh AE, Etukudo MH. Total antioxidant status and other antioxidant agent levels in children with P. falciparum infection in Calabar, Nigeria. Int J Biomed Lab Sci 2012;1:31-5.
23Sen S, Chakraborty R, Sridhar C, Reddy Y, De B. Free radicals, antioxidants, diseases and phytomedicines: Current status and future prospect. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res 2010;31:91-100.
24Wang Y, Yang M, Lee SG, Davis CG, Koo SI, Chun OK. Dietary total antioxidant capacity is associated with diet and plasma antioxidant status in healthy young adults. J Acad Nutr Diet 2012;112:1626-35.