Vitamin C and fibre consumption from fruits and vegetables improves oxidative stress markers in healthy young adults

Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(8):1119-27. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004235. Epub 2011 Sep 7.


The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to assess the potential relationships between fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption and some oxidative stress markers in young adults, with particular emphasis on fibre and vitamin C intake. The study enrolled 246 healthy subjects (eighty-eight men and 158 women), with a mean age of 22 (sd 3) years and a mean BMI of 21·9 (sd 2·8) kg/m2. Dietary intake, anthropometry, blood pressure, lifestyle features and blood biochemical data were assessed with validated procedures. Those subjects in the highest tertile (T) of FV consumption ( ≥ 705 g/d) had statistically lower oxidised LDL (ox-LDL) concentrations as well as higher plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity (P for trend <0·05), after adjusting for sex, age, energy intake, physical activity, smoking, BMI, vitamin supplement use and other confounding factors. Moreover, plasma ox-LDL concentrations showed a decreasing trend and TAC an increasing trend across tertiles of fibre (T3: ≥14 g/d) and vitamin C (T3: ≥150 mg/d) from FV intake, while GPx activity was positively associated with vitamin C intake (P for trend < 0·05). In conclusion, greater FV consumption was independently associated with reduced ox-LDL as well as increased TAC and GPx activity in healthy young adults, with dietary fibre and vitamin C from FV clearly being implicated in this beneficial relationship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Vegetables
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Ascorbic Acid