AIMS AND OBJECTIVES To evaluate the effect of ageing on the level of antioxidants and lipid peroxidation in healthy individual of various age groups. SUBJECTS AND METHODS A total number of 162 healthy males and females volunteer between the ages of 18-80 years were divided into three groups. These volunteers were divided into group i(18-30 yr), group ii (31-60 yrs) and group iii (60-80 yr). Plasma concentration of total bilirubin, uric acid, ascorbic acid, a-tocopherol, retinol, total antioxidant status (TAS), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH) and ceruloplasmin measured. Erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione and peroxidase (GSHPx) were measured using standard methods. RESULTS Erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes (GSH-Px and SOD) activities and GSH level were significantly reduced among group iii (p<0.01) and group ii (p<0.05) age group subjects compared to the younger age group i. Conversely, MDA showed a significant increase in group iii (p<0.01) and group ii (p<0.01) compared to younger age group i. CAT activity and TAS level were reduced significantly (p<0.05) in both groups iii and ii compared to younger age group i. Ascorbic acid, a-tocopherol and retinol levels were significantly reduced among group iii (p<0.05) compared to group i. CONCLUSION Ageing was associated with increased lipid peroxidation and lower antioxidant defenses. Changes that occur during ageing cannot be avoided but may be delayed and controlled to some extent. To counter these changes, dietary supplementation of a variety of antioxidants might be beneficial.