Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Antioxidant activity of fresh apples


Vitamin C is used as a dietary supplement because of its antioxidant activity, although a high dose (500 mg) may act as a pro-oxidant in the body1,2. Here we show that 100 g of fresh apples has an antioxidant activity equivalent to 1,500 mg of vitamin C, and that whole-apple extracts inhibit the growth of colon- and liver- cancer cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Our results indicate that natural antioxidants from fresh fruit could be more effective than a dietary supplement.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Antioxidant activity of apples and their effect on tumour-cell proliferation in vitro.


  1. Podmore, I. D. et al. Nature 392, 559 ( 1998).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Herbert, V. et al. J. Nutr. 126, 1213S– 1220S (1996).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Singleton, V. L. & Rossi, J. A. Jr Am. J. Enol. Viticult. 16, 144–158 (1965).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Zhisen, J., Mengcheng, T. & Jianming, W. Food Chem. 64, 555– 559 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Burda, S., Oleszek, W. & Lee, C. Y. J. Agric. Food Chem. 38, 945– 948 (1990).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Winston, G. W., Regoli, F., Dugas, A. J., Fong, J. H. & Blanchard, K. A. Free Rad. Biol. Med. 24, 480 –493 (1998).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ( 1998).

  8. Wang, H., Cao, G. & Prior, R. L. J. Agric. Food Chem. 44, 701– 705 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Lunec, J. J. Int. Fed. Clin. Chem. 4, 58–63 (1992).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Cory, A. H., Owen, T. C., Barltrop, J. A. & Cory, J. G. Cancer Commun. 3, 207–212 (1991).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rui Hai Liu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eberhardt, M., Lee, C. & Liu, R. Antioxidant activity of fresh apples. Nature 405, 903–904 (2000).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing