ACES (nutritional supplement)

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Antioxidant supplements with varying amounts of carotene(s) for (pro) vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and Selenium are known by the acronym, ACES. The commercial ACES formulas are a first generation, high potency, combined antioxidant that vary in component concentrations, specific components or source, and their ratio according to manufacturer and are available as both tablet and capsule. Vitamin supplementation will help those suffering from malnutrition, which in healthy individuals can be harmful, still obtaining the nutrients from fruit and vegetables instead is recommended, as supplementation is not proven to have any effectiveness in reducing occurrence of chronic disease.[1][2]

Popularly known as "ACES" in the 1980s during a period of rapid commercial growth and public awareness, these formulas have frequently expanded and differentiated by adding minor amounts other antioxidants such as lipoic acid, pycnogenol, coenzyme Q-10, N-acetyl cysteine, as well as other nutrients that again vary with manufacturer, and are often simply referred to as super antioxidants or a branded, proprietary trade name.

Beta-carotene, one of over 600 carotenoids, has been the most common ingredient for vitamin A activity in ACES formulas. Ascorbic acid and ascorbates are the common ingredients to deliver vitamin C activity. Vitamin E content has commonly varied among d,l-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (all-rac alpha-tocopheryl acetate), d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, d-alpha-tocopheryl succinate, and d-alpha-tocopherol. Selenium content has been delivered as selenate, selenium containing nutritional yeast and selenium containing organic forms such as L-Selenomethionine and L-selenium-methylselenocysteine, again varying with manufacturer. More recent ACES formulas may use mixed natural carotene sources that include other carotenes such as zeaxanthin, alpha carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and lycopene. Mixed tocopherols with varied proportions of R,R,R-alpha-tocopherol, R,R,R-beta-tocopherol, R,R,R-gamma-tocopherol and R,R,R-delta-tocopherol are other suitable sources of vitamin E content in ACES formulas.

Various ACES formulations will typically contain 10,000–25,000 IU carotenes, 250 mg – 1000 mg vitamin C, 200–400 IU alpha-tocopherol, and 50–200 µg selenium content per serving of one to three units (tablet or capsule), as well as other nutrients in more recent antioxidant formulations.


  1. ^ Shenkin, A (2006). "The key role of micronutrients". Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland). 25 (1): 1–13. PMID 16376462. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2005.11.006. 
  2. ^ Stanner, SA; Hughes, J; Kelly, CN; Buttriss, J (2004). "A review of the epidemiological evidence for the 'antioxidant hypothesis'". Public health nutrition. 7 (3): 407–22. PMID 15153272. doi:10.1079/PHN2003543.