Health Glossary - For Everyone

  print page print this page   Email email this page





What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize or destroy free radicals (oxidants) that are naturally created in the body when cells in the body burn oxygen to produce energy. Free radicals are also produced by pollution, stress, smoking, excessive exercise, drinking alcohol and other factors. Antioxidants are found abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetables esepcially, but also in some grains, seeds and herbs. Antioxidants contribute to good health by reducing the levels of free radicals in the body.

There are many antioxidants, the most common ones are:

Besides the above vitamins and minerals, there are many herb and other nutrients which are also potent antioxidants.


^ top

Important antioxidants facts

^ top



Why antioxidants are important

Antioxidants are important because they reduce the amount of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can clog arteries and contribute to cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. Free radicals also cause ageing to be accelerated.

By reducing the amount of free radical, antioxidants reduce the effects they produce and reduce any potential cellular damage that may otherwise occur.

Our bodies need a constant supply of antioxidants in our diet to counteract the effects of free radicals that are produced every day, from a variety of sources.


^ top


Last reviewed: 14 January 2007 || Last updated: 21 August 2007


Related Articles

^ top



More information

To learn more, go to the following sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


^ top