Serum antioxidant status among young, middle-aged and elderly people before and after antioxidant rich diet

Hippokratia 2012; 16(2):118-123

E. Limberaki, Ph. Eleftheriou, E. Vagdatli, V. Kostoglou, Ch. Petrou


Background: The influence of factors such as age, sex, life style and smoking on oxidative stress status of the organism remains unclear. There is evidence that dietary intake of antioxidants is thought to enforce the organism ability to counteract free radicals. Administration of synthetic antioxidants as dietary supplements does not seem to have the same beneficial effect as consumption of the same antioxidants as part of food ingredients. This work focuses on the investigation of age and diet effects on oxidative stress and examines the hypotheses of their significant influence.
Methods: Blood samples of 146 volunteers, were collected and allocated in three age groups. All volunteers completed a questionnaire concerning home and working environmental conditions, special habits and dietary preferences. We implemented a thirty days diet rich in antioxidants in 55 volunteers. Antioxidant activity was estimated before and after the special diet by measuring the in!uence of serum in oxidation of ABTS by the ferryl myoglobinhydrogen peroxide system.
Results: Our finndings showed unexpected lower serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in younger people (ages 18-35 yrs) 79%, compared to middle aged and elderly individuals and a large increase 62% in serum TAC of all age-groups after the one-month special diet.
Conclusions: These results imply that a diet rich in antioxidants based on antioxidant rich food consumption and not on single antioxidants administration, can increase the antioxidant status of the organism and other better health. The total serum antioxidant status increases with age and this fact should be taken into account when TAC is measured in different diseases.