For many years, the United States government has required labels on all cigarette packages warning against the many ill effects associated with smoking. One of the major factors contributing to the unhealthy aspects of smoking is its profound impact on nutrient levels within the body. Free radicals found in both the gas and tar phases of cigarette smoke may pose a significant threat to the fatty-acid levels in the body. One method of assessing this threat is to examine the fatty-acid synthesis rates of smokers and nonsmokers. An assumption was made that a destruction of fatty-acids will be displayed as an increased rate of synthesis of longer-chain fatty-acids from shorter-chain precursors. A significant difference was found between the fatty-acid metabolic rates of smokers (n=10) and nonsmokers (n=8) with the smokers having an overall increase in rate. Further studies are required to determine if this difference in rate is due to lipid peroxidation brought about by smoking-induced free radical attack.
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Valusek, Patricia A., "A Comparison of the Kinetics of Fatty-Acid Metabolism in Smokers and Nonsmokers" (1997). Honors Theses. 606.