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Metabolites 2014, 4(3), 572-579;

Breath Ethane Concentrations in Healthy Volunteers Correlate with a Systemic Marker of Lipid Peroxidation but Not with Omega-3 Fatty Acid Availability

Division of Medical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B5E1, Canada
Highland Psychiatric Research Foundation, University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness IV3 5SQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 2 July 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breath Analysis in Metabolomics)
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Ethane in human breath derives from lipid peroxidation, specifically the reaction between omega-3 fatty acids and reactive oxygen species. It has been proposed to be a non-invasive marker of oxidative stress, a deleterious process which may play an important role in the pathophysiology of several common diseases. It is unclear, however, whether ethane concentration actually correlates with systemic oxidative stress or whether it is primarily a marker of airway biochemistry. To investigate this possibility the breath ethane concentrations in 24 healthy volunteers were compared to that of a systemic measure of oxidative stress, plasma hydroperoxides, as well as to blood concentrations of the lipophilic anti-oxidant vitamin E, and the abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. Breath ethane concentrations were significantly (p < 0.05) positively correlated with blood hydroperoxide concentrations (rp = 0.60) and negatively with that of vitamin E (rp = −0.65), but were not correlated with either the total omega-3 fatty acid concentration (rp = −0.22) or that of any individual species of this fatty acid class. This data supports the hypothesis that breath ethane is a marker of systemic lipid peroxidation, as opposed to that of omega-3 fatty acid abundance. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxidative stress; tocopherol; hydroperoxides; omega-3 fatty acid oxidative stress; tocopherol; hydroperoxides; omega-3 fatty acid

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ross, B.M.; Glen, I. Breath Ethane Concentrations in Healthy Volunteers Correlate with a Systemic Marker of Lipid Peroxidation but Not with Omega-3 Fatty Acid Availability. Metabolites 2014, 4, 572-579.

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