Previous epidemiologic observational and experimental studies investigated the potential of antioxidant micronutrients to modulate cancer risk, but these studies produced inconsistent results. In this pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (n = 47), we assessed the effects of an antioxidant micronutrient combination (800 mg dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate, 24 mg beta-carotene, 1.0 g vitamin C, 200 microg l-selenomethionine, 7.2 mg riboflavin, 80 mg niacin, 60 mg zinc, 5 mg manganese) given daily over 4 months on oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with a history of sporadic colorectal adenoma. Plasma tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6, and F2-isoprostane concentrations were measured using ELISAs, and cystine (CySS) was measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Plasma TNF-alpha concentration decreased in the active treatment group by 37% relative to the placebo group (P = 0.002), and CySS decreased by 19% (P = 0.03); however, interleukin-6 and F2-isoprostane concentrations decreased in antioxidant-treated nonsmokers but increased in smokers, although these findings were not statistically significant. The decreases of TNF-alpha and CySS were more pronounced in nonsmokers. These data suggest that (a) an antioxidant micronutrient cocktail can modulate biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation in humans and (b) the effects of antioxidant micronutrient supplementation on biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress may differ according to smoking status.