Abstract: Dietary Modification and Moderate Antioxidant Supplementation Differentially Affect Serum Carotenoids, Antioxidant Levels and Markers of Oxidative Stress in Older Humans

J. Nutr. 133:3117-3123, October 2003  1,2Jerusha L. Nelson3, Paul S. Bernstein*,3, Matthew C. Schmidt, Mark S. Von Tress and E. Wayne Askew
Division of Foods and Nutrition, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84115; * The Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; and Alcon Research, Fort Worth, TX 76134
3To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jnelson@usoe.k12.ut.us.

Oxidative stress is thought to be a factor in the progression of chronic diseases, and even the aging process itself. We examined the effect of two moderate vitamin, mineral and phytochemical supplements and a dietary intervention on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidant status in older humans. Subjects (n = 60, 65–85 y old) were enrolled in a 5-wk, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

The subjects were randomly assigned to a group with one of four interventions: antioxidant supplement capsule, antioxidant supplement tablet, high carotenoid diet or placebo.

Postintervention serum levels of some of the supplemented carotenoids and -tocopherol were higher in all treated groups compared with the placebo group and with preintervention levels within groups. Markers of oxidative stress or antioxidant capacity were not significantly different from preintervention levels, although the diet and supplement capsule groups had lower levels of some of those markers than the placebo group postintervention.

The results suggest that both moderate antioxidant supplementation and a diet high in carotenoids elevate serum carotenoids and antioxidant levels in an older adult population, although with different specific effects.

© 2003 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences

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