Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds with potential antioxidant activity via multiple reduction capacities. Oxidation of cellular lipids has been implicated in many diseases. Consequently, this study has assessed the ability of several dietary flavonoid aglycones to suppress lipid peroxidation of hepatic microsomes derived from rats deficient in the major lipid soluble antioxidant, da-tocopherol. Antioxidant effectiveness was galangin > quercetin > kaempferol > fisetin > myricetin > morin > catechin > apigenin. However, none of the flavonoids were as effective as da-tocopherol, particularly at the lowest concentrations used. In addition, there appears to be an important distinction between the in vitro antioxidant effectiveness of flavonoids and their ability to suppress indices of oxidation in vivo. Compared with da-tocopherol, repletion of vitamin E deficient rats with quercetin, kaempferol, or myricetin did not significantly affect indices of lipid peroxidation and tissue damage. Direct antioxidant effect of flavonoids in vivo was not apparent probably due to low bioavailability although indirect redox effects through stimulation of the antioxidant response element cannot be excluded.