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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jul;50(7):443-9.

Effect of 6 month supplementation with different combinations of an association of antioxidant nutrients on biochemical parameters and markers of the antioxidant defence system in the elderly. The Geriatrie/Min.Vit.Aox Network.

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  • 1Institut Scientifique et Technique de la Nutrition et de l' Alimentation, CNAM, Paris, France.



To study the effect of supplementation with an association of small physiological amounts of antioxidant nutrients upon biochemical parameters and indicators of oxidative stress and antioxidant enzymes.


The study included a double-blind placebo-controlled design.


Nursing homes in different areas in France.


575 elderly long term hospitalized subjects aged 65-103 years.


Four groups were compared. They received daily: (V) vitamins (vitamin E, 15 mg and vitamin C, 120 mg) and beta-carotene, 6 mg; (T) trace elements (zinc, 20 mg, selenium, 100 micrograms); (VT) vitamins associated with trace elements; or (P) a placebo. Biological markers of vitamin and trace element status, and free radical parameters were measured initially and after 6 months of supplementation.


An analysis of variance indicated a significant effect of vitamin supplementation on serum alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and vitamin C, a significant effect of trace element supplementation on serum zinc and both a significant trace element and a vitamin-trace element interaction on serum selenium. We observed significant effects of both trace element and vitamin supplementation on GPx activity (P < 0.01), an effect of vitamin supplementation on SOD activity (P < 0.05).


Our results indicate that short-term supplementation with moderate doses of antioxidant vitamins and trace elements in elderly subjects clearly improves both non-enzymatic (alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, vitamin C) levels and enzymatic antioxidant (GPx and SOD) activity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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