Chronic inflammation is associated with the aging process and numerous age-related pathologies. We evaluated the effects of age, caloric restriction (CR), and exercise on plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6, and total antioxidant capacity in Fisher 344 rats. The inflammatory markers were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), while total antioxidant potential was determined by a spectrophotometric method. An increase in circulating levels of CRP with age was attenuated with long-term 40% CR; short-term 40% CR in young animals also reduced CRP concentration compared to age-matched controls. Lifelong exercise with 8% CR showed a marked decrease in CRP levels compared to 8% CR controls and an even greater reduction compared to ad libitum-fed rats. Plasma interleukin-6 levels remained unchanged with age, CR, and exercise, whereas inflammation levels showed an inverse association with plasma antioxidant status. These studies highlight the anti-inflammatory effects of CR and exercise. Copyright 2006 by The Gerontological Society of America.