Supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts may decrease DNA damage in the peripheral lymphocytes of an elderly population.

Smith MJ, Inserra PF, Watson RR, Wise JA, O'Neill K; Oct. 1999


The aim of this study was to determine whether a commercially available encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate (FV) could reduce the amount of DNA damage in the lymphocytes of elderly individuals, a group particularly at risk for oxidative damage to DNA, in lieu of changing their daily habits. 


In this one-arm, pilot study, 20 healthy volunteers, all over age 60 (average age 68), took FV (Juice Plus+®; 2 capsules per day each of the Fruit and Vegetable Blends) for 80 days and were instructed to eat their normal diet. Blood samples were analyzed at baseline and again at the study’s end to measure: 1) Levels of several antioxidant phytonutrients and vitamin E, and 2) The amount of DNA damage to lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay, which measures breaks in DNA strands. 


Following intervention with FV, a significant increase in concentrations of the antioxidant phytonutrients beta-carotene and alpha-carotene was observed as well as a significant drop of DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes, regardless of age, sex, or smoking status. Participants also reported increased feelings of well-being and regularity. 


“This study suggests that supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts may decrease the amount of DNA damage in a population of elderly subjects. Indeed, it exhibits positive result without apparent influences from age, sex, or smoking status.” 

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