Purpose: Rigorous exercise is known to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflict inflammatory response. The present study investigated whether dietary supplementation of avenanthramides (AVA) in oats would increase antioxidant protection and reduce inflammation in humans after an acute bout of eccentric exercise. Methods: Young women (age 18–30 years, N = 16) were randomly divided into two groups in a double-blinded fashion, receiving two cookies made of oat flour providing 9.2 mg AVA (AVA) or 0.4 mg AVA (Control, C) each day for 8 weeks. Before and after the dietary regimen each group of subjects ran downhill (DR) on a treadmill at −9 % grade for 1 h at a speed to elicit 75 % of maximal heart rate. Blood samples were collected at rest, immediately and 24 h post-DR. Results: Before dietary supplementation plasma creatine kinase activity and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentration were increased immediately after DR (P < 0.05), whereas neutrophil respiratory burst (NRB) was elevated 24 h post-DR (P < 0.05). CK and TNF-α response to DR was abolished during post-supplementation tests in both AVA and C groups, whereas NRB was blunted only in AVA but not in C. Plasma interleukin-6 level and mononuclear cell nuclear factor (NF) κB activity were not affected by DR either before or after dietary supplementation, but were lowered 24 h post-DR in AVA versus C (P < 0.05). Both groups increased plasma total antioxidant activity following 8-week dietary regimen (P < 0.05), whereas only AVA group increased resting plasma glutathione (GSH) concentration (P < 0.05), decreased glutathione disulfide response to DR, and lowered erythrocyte GSH peroxidase activity (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Our data of pre- and post-supplementation difference reflect an interaction between repeated measure effect of eccentric exercise and AVA in diet. Long-term AVA supplementation can attenuate blood inflammation markers, decrease ROS generation and NFkB activation, and increased antioxidant capacity during an eccentric exercise bout.