Interaction between antioxidants, cancer treatment

Comparing antioxidant activities of common foods

One glass of red wine has the same antioxidant activity as 12 glasses of white wine.

By John Russo/

VICUS.COM (04 March 2000) — Tea, onions, soy, and wine are the main dietary sources of the major flavanoids, and several large population studies show an inverse relationship between the consumption of flavonoids and coronary heart disease, which cannot be explained by vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients alone. Some flavonoids possess antioxidant activity, but which foods and beverages are the most efficient sources of this effect?

A comparison of the equivalent antioxidant activity of ten common foods and beverages is presented in the table below. Although the antioxidant component in each food differs, the antioxidant activity can be expressed in terms of micromol Trolox equivalents. 

Using this approach, red wine and tea are the most efficient sources of antioxidant activity. One glass of red wine is equivalent in antioxidant activity to two cups of tea or 12 glasses of white wine. Similarly, a glass of orange juice provides almost three times greater antioxidant activity than apple juice.

Equivalent Antioxidant Activity
(expressed as micromol Trolox equivalent)

Red wine 1 glass (150 mL)
White wine 12 glasses (150 mL)
Tea 2 cups (150 mL/cup)
Black currant juice 3.5 glasses (150 mL/glass)
Beer 3.5 glasses (500 mL/glass)
Orange juice 7 glasses (150 mL/glass)
Apple juice 20 glasses (150 mL/glass)
Apples 4 apples (100g each)
Onion 5 portions (100g each)
Eggplant 5.5 portions (100g each)

  John Russo, Jr. PharmD, is senior vice president of medical communications at He is a pharmacist and medical writer with more than 20 years of experience in medical education.



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