TitleStability of antioxidant vitamins in whole human blood during overnight storage at 4°C and frozen storage up to 6 months.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLeonard SW, Bobe G, Traber MG
JournalInt J Vitam Nutr Res
Date Published2019 Feb 12

To determine optimal conditions for blood collection during clinical trials, where sample handling logistics might preclude prompt separation of erythrocytes from plasma, healthy subjects (n=8, 6 M/2F) were recruited and non-fasting blood samples were collected into tubes containing different anticoagulants (ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid (EDTA), Li-heparin or Na-heparin). We hypothesized that heparin, but not EDTA, would effectively protect plasma tocopherols, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E catabolites (α- and γ-CEHC) from oxidative damage. To test this hypothesis, one set of tubes was processed immediately and plasma samples were stored at -80°C, while the other set was stored at 4°C and processed the following morning (~30 hours) and analyzed, or the samples were analyzed after 6 months of storage. Plasma ascorbic acid, as measured using HPLC with electrochemical detection (LC-ECD) decreased by 75% with overnight storage using EDTA as an anticoagulant, but was unchanged when heparin was used. Neither time prior to processing, nor anticoagulant, had any significant effects upon plasma α- or γ-tocopherols or α- or γ-CEHC concentrations. α- and γ-tocopherol concentrations remained unchanged after 6 months of storage at -80°C, when measured using either LC-ECD or LC/mass spectrometry. Thus, refrigeration of whole blood at 4°C overnight does not change plasma α- or γ-tocopherol concentrations or their catabolites. Ascorbic acid is unstable in whole blood when EDTA is used as an anticoagulant, but when whole blood is collected with heparin, it can be stored overnight and subsequently processed.

Alternate JournalInt J Vitam Nutr Res
PubMed ID30747603