The Role of Antioxidants in the Prevention of Oxidative Damage to Nucleic Acids

  • Peter Møller
  • Steffen Loft
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)


It is commonly assumed that ingestion of antioxidants is associated with low levels of oxidatively damaged DNA although this is far from conclusive in human intervention trials. A collective interpretation is difficult because many studies lack sufficient control and have unrealistically high baseline levels of oxidative DNA damage in human white blood cells (WBC). A survey of studies on the antioxidant hypothesis in terms of oxidative DNA damage excretion products in urine indicates that ingestion of antioxidant-rich foods may be more effective than single antioxidants. In WBC, there is some evidence of beneficial effects of ingestion of antioxidants and antioxidant-rich foods. This suggests intake of antioxidants either in tablet form or as natural ingredients of foods are associated with beneficial effects on oxidative stress status, but the effect is smaller than previously expected and supplementation of antioxidants to healthy and sufficiently nourished individuals may not be of large public health relevance.


Comet Assay Antioxidant Supplementation Strand Break Brussels Sprout Blackcurrant Juice 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Møller
    • 1
  • Steffen Loft
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark

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