This study was done to investigate effects of antioxidant supplementation on phytohemagglutinin (PHA) -stimulated interleukin-2 (IL-2) production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in elderly women. This study was designed as a placebo-controlled, single-blinded, randomized intervention trial. Twenty four elderly women aged over 60 years, visitings social welfare center in Seoul were divided into 3 groups, placebo (n = 8), vitamin C supplemented (n = 8) , and vitamin E supplemented (n = 8) groups. Experimental groups were given either 1000mg of L-ascorbic acid or 400 ill of d- $\alpha$-tocopherol for 4 weeks. There was no significant difference in antioxidant vitamins intakes and their plasma levels among pre-intervention groups. Plasma vitamin C or E levels was significantly increased after vitamin C or E sup-plementations. The increases of plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) levels in the placebo group were significantly higher than those of the supplemented 2 groups. There were no significant differences in the changes of plasma IL-2 level between pre- and post-intervention among the 3 groups. However there was a significant increase in PHAstimulated IL-2 production by PBMCs after 4-week vitamin E or vitamin C supplementation. Particularly, vitamin E supplemented group showed a higher PHA-stimulated IL-2 production than vitamin C supplemented group. These results indicate that vitamin E or vitamin C supplementation might enhance mitogen-stimulated cytokine production by immune cells, which could be one of the factors to improve health status in the elderly.
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