Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which can play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how antioxidants work, where they come from, why they are beneficial, and much more.
What are antioxidants?Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis), cancer, and other conditions. You are exposed to free radicals: Through by-products of normal processes that take place in your body (such as the burning of sugars for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food).When the body breaks down certain medicines.Through pollutants.Antioxidants include some vitamins (such as vitamins C and E), some minerals (such as selenium), and flavonoids, which are found in plants. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. You can find flavonoids in fruits, red wine, and teas. You can also buy antioxidant supplements.One study showed that using vitamin A, E, and beta carotene supplements may increase your risk of premature death.1 Further study is needed to look at the effects of these antioxidants as
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Slideshows & Images
Slideshow: All About Antioxidants
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