Antioxidant supplementation enhances antioxidant capacity and mitigates oxidative damage following acute ischaemic stroke

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Dec;59(12):1367-73. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602248.


Objective: To test whether supplementary antioxidants immediately following acute ischaemic stroke will enhance antioxidant capacity and mitigate oxidative damage.

Design: A randomised controlled trial.

Setting: A university teaching hospital.

Subjects: A total of 48 acute ischaemic stroke patients within 12 h of symptom onset.

Intervention: Daily oral 800 IU (727 mg) of alpha-tocopherol and 500 mg of vitamin C (n = 24), or no treatment (n = 24) for 14 days. Treatment group and controls were matched for stroke subtype and age.

Main outcome measures: alpha-Tocopherol, ascorbic acid, total antioxidant capacity (TAOC), plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and C-reactive protein (CRP) before treatment, at day 7 and day 14 following recruitment.

Results: In all, 14 days of vitamin supplementation significantly improved plasma alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic concentrations in the treatment group compared with the decrease seen in the control group (P < 0.005 for difference in cumulative changes). TAOC increased significantly in the treatment group compared with controls (P < 0.003). There was a significant reduction in plasma MDA concentration in the treatment group, in contrast to the increase seen in the control group (P < 0.002). After adjusting for clinical complications CRP concentrations within 90 days postinfarct were significantly lower in the treatment group compared with controls.

Conclusion: Supplementation with antioxidant vitamins within 12 h of onset of acute ischaemic stroke increased antioxidant capacity, reduced lipid peroxidation products and may have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Sponsorship: Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Ischemia / blood
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood
  • alpha-Tocopherol / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Malondialdehyde
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • alpha-Tocopherol
  • Ascorbic Acid