Circulating concentrations of vitamin antioxidants (retinol, alpha-tocopherol, lutein, lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotene) and trace elements (zinc, copper, iron and selenium) plus carrier proteins (albumin, transferrin, caeruloplasmin) in gastrointestinal cancer patients (n = 12) with an inflammatory response (as demonstrated by an elevated C-reactive protein concentration) were compared with a control group (n = 12). Further, the effect of moderating the inflammatory response, using the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, on these measurements was examined in the cancer group. The control and cancer groups were similar in terms of age, sex, and body mass index. However, the cancer group had significantly higher C-reactive protein concentrations (P < 0.001). Concentrations of vitamin antioxidants and trace elements (and carrier proteins) were significantly lower (P < 0.001), except copper (ceruloplasmin) which was significantly higher (P < 0.05). After anti-inflammatory treatment, there were small but significant increases in lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene (P < 0.05) and in iron and selenium (P < 0.05), whereas ceruloplasmin decreased (P < 0. 05). The micronutrient concentrations in the cancer patients remained different from those in the control subjects. These results support the concept that the magnitude of inflammation plays an important role in the regulation of circulating concentrations of vitamin antioxidants and trace elements in patients with gastrointestinal cancer.