There has been a significant increase in the volume of research relating to antioxidants and health. The very nature of this research is inter-disciplinary, yet the full potential of such an approach, whereby nutritionists (clinicians), chemists, pharmacists and others all bring their expertise to bear in a concerted way, is rarely achieved. This is perhaps due to a lack of understanding of the methodology and terminology of the various disciplines. In this review, the terminology and features of nutritional studies are examined with particular emphasis on the confounders that may often be ignored by laboratory-based researchers. Attention is drawn to the potential role that ethics approval processes may have in directing outcomes.