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J Am Coll Nutr. 1995 Dec;14(6):635-42.

Dietary antioxidants and plasma lipids: the CARDIA Study.

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University of Utah Medical Center, Department of Oncological Sciences, Salt Lake City 84132, USA. Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults.



To determine if dietary antioxidants play a role in preventing coronary heart disease (CHD) by having an impact on lipid levels.


Data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study were used to assess the associations of reported intake of vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene, and their use in supplements, with lipid levels in a black and white, healthy adult (18 to 30 years of age at the baseline examination) population.


After adjusting for age, education level, physical activity, body size, alcohol consumption and caloric intake, vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin C (white women) intake were directly associated with HDL-cholesterol levels among women who smoked cigarettes, with the strongest associations being observed for white women. Black men who took supplements of vitamins A and C and did not smoke cigarettes had significantly higher HDL-cholesterol levels compared to those in the lowest levels of dietary intake. Although vitamin E was associated with higher levels of HDL-cholesterol, the association was only of borderline significance among white men who smoked cigarettes (p = 0.06). We did not observe any consistent associations between antioxidants and other plasma lipids, including total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, or triglycerides.


We conclude that dietary antioxidants are associated with HDL-cholesterol levels in some subsets of the population, although these associations may be operating in conjunction with other lifestyle behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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