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Eur J Nutr. 2013 Dec;52(8):1901-11. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0491-5. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Dietary antioxidant capacity is associated with improved serum antioxidant status and decreased serum C-reactive protein and plasma homocysteine concentrations.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, 3624 Horsebarn Road Extension Unit 4017, Storrs, CT, 06269-4017, USA.



To investigate the associations of dietary TAC from diet and supplements with serum antioxidant concentrations and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) in US adults.


This was a cross-sectional study. Food consumption data, serum antioxidant levels, and serum CRP and Plasma tHcy concentrations of 4,391 US adults aged ≥19 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2002 were analyzed. The USDA flavonoid and proanthocyanidin databases and dietary supplement data as well as antioxidant capacities of 43 antioxidants were also utilized.


Serum CRP and plasma tHcy concentrations were higher in older adults, smokers, and those with lower non-leisure time physical activity levels (P < 0.05). Energy-adjusted daily total antioxidant capacity (TAC) from diet and supplements was positively associated with serum vitamin E and carotenoid concentrations (P < 0.05). Adjusted odds ratio (OR) for plasma tHcy >13 μmol/L significantly decreased across quartiles of TAC from diet and supplements (Q1 = 2.18 (1.56-2.77); Q2 = 1.30 (1.00-2.07); Q3 = 1.34 (0.84-2.28); Q4 = 1.00; P for linear trend <0.001). A negative trend across quartiles of TAC from diet and supplements was also observed in OR for serum CRP ≥3 mg/L (Q1 = 1.26 (0.97-1.70); Q2 = 1.21 (0.91-1.66); Q3 = 0.97 (0.80-1.24); Q4 = 1.00; P for linear trend <0.05).


These findings indicated that dietary TAC provided an integrated conceptual tool in assessing serum antioxidants and investigating the associations between antioxidant intake and CVD risk. The implicated applicability of dietary TAC needs further validation in prospective cohort studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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