Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called oxygen free radicals. Most antioxidants are vitamins (such as beta-carotene and vitamins E and C) that are naturally found in many fruits and vegetables or are available as supplements.

Oxygen free radicals are normal by-products of cell metabolism. However, at high levels they can cause damage to cells. Antioxidants may protect the body from cell damage.

Last Updated: June 30, 2009

Author: Eileen Ellig & Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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