Interest in functional foods is increasing. The aim of the present study was to investigate breads supplemented with functional components. One was bread supplemented with inulin, linseed and soya fibre (prebiotic bread). The other was a prebiotic antioxidant bread (pre-aox-bread), which additionally contained green tea powder, herbs and tomato paste. The effects of these two breads on immunological and antioxidative parameters were compared with control bread (placebo). Twenty smokers and eighteen non-smokers were enrolled in the randomised parallel study, which consisted of a control period and an intervention period, each lasting for 5 weeks. Daily intake of bread and nutrients did not differ between the intervention and the control period. Most of the twenty-three investigated immunological parameters measured in peripheral blood were unaffected. However, the percentage of CD19 increased after intervention with prebiotic bread, whereas intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and CD3+NK+ (P < 0·05) decreased in both intervention arms. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) was increased after consumption of the pre-aox-bread for non-smokers (1256 v. 1147 μmol/l; P = 0·019) and remained unchanged for smokers consuming the pre-aox-bread. All analysed carotenoids (P ≤ 0·001) in plasma were increased after the consumption of pre-aox-bread. The concentrations of uric acid and α-tocopherol rose after intervention with both breads. ICAM-1 as a marker of stress decreased after consuming the prebiotic bread. In conclusion, increased plasma concentrations of carotenoids and the responses observed with the FRAP assay after intervention with the pre-aox-bread indicate a unique response in terms of antioxidative potentials for this type of functional food.