Antioxidant Supplementation Promotes Metabolic Health in Adults with Obesity

December 30, 2022

Obesity-related metabolic disorders are attributed to increased oxidative stress and inflammation. A recent meta-analysis including 30 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) explored whether supplementation of antioxidants benefits metabolic health. RCTs included in the analysis were those in which adult participants had obesity defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 and were naïve to antioxidant supplements prior to the study.

A total of 845 participants received antioxidant supplementation across the studies while 766 received placebo. Antioxidant supplementation included vitamins E and C, carotenoids, carnitine, CoQ10, cysteine, omega-3s, omega-6s, folate, selenium, zinc, resveratrol, and melatonin. BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and fat mass measures were included along with the biomarkers of fasting blood glucose, HOMA-IR, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, malonaldehyde, ALT, AST, leptin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Compared with placebo, antioxidant supplementation was associated with lower BMI and waist circumference, decreased fasting blood glucose and HOMA-IR, and lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, malonaldehyde, and TNF-α. Additionally, participants with antioxidant supplementation had higher levels of HDL and SOD as compared to placebo. Antioxidant supplementation appears to be a beneficial strategy for balancing oxidative stress, inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction in adults with obesity.

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Contributed by Jennifer L. Greer, ND, MEd


Wang J, Liao B, Wang C, et al. Effects of antioxidant supplementation on metabolic disorders in obese patients from randomized clinical controls: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022;2022:7255413. doi:10.1155/2022/7255413