Dietary Antioxidants And Plasma Lipids: The Cardia Study

Martha L. Slattery*, Joan Benson, Alan Dyer, Joan E. Hilner, Bette J. Caan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if dietary antioxidants play a role in preventing coronary heart disease (CHD) by having an impact on lipid levels. Methods: Data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study were used to assess the associations of reported intake of vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene, and their use in supplements, with lipid levels in a black and white, healthy adult (18 to 30 years of age at the baseline examination) population. Results: After adjusting for age, education level, physical activity, body size, alcohol consumption and caloric intake, vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin C (white women) intake were directly associated with HDL-cholesterol levels among women who smoked cigarettes, with the strongest associations being observed for white women. Black men who took supplements of vitamins A and C and did not smoke cigarettes had significantly higher HDL-cholesterol levels compared to those in the lowest level of dietary intake. Although vitamin E was associated with higher levels of HDL-cholesterol, the association was only of borderline significance among white men who smoked cigarettes (p = 0.06). We did not observe any consistent associations between antioxidants and other plasma lipids, including total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, or triglycerides. Conclusions: We conclude that dietary antioxidants are associated with HDL-cholesterol levels in some subsets of the population, although these associations may be operating in conjunction with other lifestyle behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Antioxidants
  • Cholesterol
  • Diet
  • HDL-cholesterol
  • LDL-cholesterol
  • Lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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