Influence of antioxidants on the quality of stored blood

Vox Sang. 1997;72(1):16-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1423-0410.1997.00016.x.


Background and objectives: Blood is exposed to oxidation stress and therefore has a high antioxidant capacity (AOC). With the many factors increasing the demands on the AOC, there may be damage to erythrocytes by free radicals. This study was to investigate evidence of erythrocyte damage in stored donor blood and to affect this by premedication of blood donors.

Materials and methods: Blood samples of 15 healthy donors were collected in CPDA-1 solution and analyzed immediately, and then again after 10 days of incubation at 4 degrees C and 1 day of incubation at 37 degrees C. Prior to incubation, the following parameters were evaluated: Na+, K+, malondialdehyde (MDA), hemoglobin (Hb), AOC in the supernatant, superoxide dismutase (SOD) in erythrocytes, and glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) in whole blood. Blood donors of group 1 were not given any drugs or vitamins before blood sampling. The same blood donors were then supplemented with the following daily doses of antioxidants for 10 days before the next blood sampling: 36 mg of beta-carotene, 300 mg of vitamin E, 200 mg of vitamin C, and 40 mg of selenium.

Results: The blood from donors of group 2 had a significantly smaller increase in MDA, K+, and Hb, and a smaller decrease in Na+ and AOC in the supernatant compared with that of group 1, while the activity of SOD and GSHPx did not change during blood storage.

Conclusions: These results suggest that antioxidants given to blood donors can improve red cell storage parameters by reducing cell damage caused by free radicals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Donors*
  • Blood Preservation*
  • Erythrocytes
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress


  • Antioxidants