Antioxidants and Free Radicals in the Body
Research Shows Mixed Results
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Benefits of Dietary Changes Are Clear
|Antioxidant||Recommended Amount*||Good Food Sources|
Women: 75 mg
Men: 90 mg
Smokers: extra 35 mg
|Citrus fruits; vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale|
|Vitamin E||15 mg||Fortified cereals, vegetable oils, nuts, mangoes, and wheat germ|
|Selenium||55 micrograms (mcg)||Tuna, ham, brown rice, whole wheat bread|
Women: 700 REA**
Men: 900 REA
Eggs, liver, vitamin A-fortified milk
Yellow-orange or dark-green leafy vegetables and fruits, such as kale, beet greens, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, papaya, apricots, parsley, and basil
*Recommended amounts are given as dietary reference intakes (DRIs), which replace recommended dietary allowances (RDAs); these are the government's recommendations for good health.
**REA = retinol equivalents; a measurement of vitamin A that includes the two major forms of vitamin A found in foods: retinol and beta-carotene. There is no separate DRI set for beta-carotene.
Are Supplements Necessary?
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
National Institute on Aging http://www.nia.nih.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Antioxidant. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated August 22, 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
Antioxidant Supplements for Health: An Introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/antioxidants. Updated March 3, 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
The heart outcomes prevention evaluation study investigators, vitamin E supplementation and cardiovascular events in high-risk women. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:154-160.
Kris-Etherton PM, Lichtenstein AH. Antioxidant vitamin supplements and cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2004;110(5):637-641.
Meydani M. Nutrition interventions in aging and age-associated disease. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001;928:226-235.
Phytochemicals. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/phytochemicals. Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
Selenium. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated August 22, 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
Vitamin A. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 6, 2014. Accessed July 2, 2014.
Vitamin C. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 3, 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
Vitamin E. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 6, 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2014 -
- Update Date: 07/02/2014 -