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Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;24(2):172-83.

Can oxidative damage be treated nutritionally?

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  • 1Surgical ICU, Soins Intensifs Chirurgicaux et Centre des Brûlés, CHUV--BH08.660, CH 1011--Lausanne, Switzerland.



Nutrition and dietary patterns have been shown to have direct impact on health of the population and of selected patient groups. The beneficial effects have been attributed to the reduction of oxidative damage caused by the normal or excessive free radical production. The papers aims at collecting evidence of successful supplementation strategies.


Review of the literature reporting on antioxidant supplementation trials in the general population and critically ill patients.


Antioxidant vitamin and trace element intakes have been shown to be particularly important in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, age related ocular diseases and in aging. In animal models, targeted interventions have been associated with reduction of tissue destruction is brain and myocardium ischemia-reperfusion models. In the critically ill antioxidant supplements have resulted in reduction of organ failure and of infectious complications.


Antioxidant micronutrients have beneficial effects in defined models and pathologies, in the general population and in critical illness: ongoing research encourages this supportive therapeutic approach. Further research is required to determined the optimal micronutrient combinations and the doses required according to timing of intervention.

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