To examine the protective role of dietary antioxidants (carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and flavonoids) in lung cancer risk, a case-control study involving 541 cases of lung cancer and 540 hospitalized controls was carried out in Uruguay. The relevant variables were energy adjusted using the residuals method and then categorized in quartiles. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for antioxidants were calculated through unconditional logistic regression. With the exception of lycopene and vitamin C, the remaining antioxidants were associated with significant reductions in risk of lung cancer. Of particular interest was the inverse association between dietary glutathione and lung cancer [OR of quartile with highest intake compared with lowest quartile = 0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.27-0.63]. Also, carotenoids and vitamin E were associated with significant reductions in risk of lung cancer (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.29-0.64 for total carotenoids and OR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.39-0.85 for vitamin E). A joint effect for high vs. low intakes of beta-carotene and glutathione was associated with a significant reduction in risk (OR = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.22-0.46). It could be concluded that dietary antioxidants are associated with a significant protective effect in lung carcinogenesis and that the inverse association for glutathione persisted after controlling for total vegetables and fruits.