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Home > Health Library > Antioxidants
Antioxidants are natural chemicals that protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe that this damage is a factor in the development of cancer and other conditions.
You are exposed to free radicals:
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. But it's best to get antioxidants from a healthy diet.
Antioxidants may play a role in the management or prevention of some medical conditions, such as some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and some arthritis-related conditions.
Until more studies are done, it's best to get your antioxidants from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables rather than from supplements. Most people should eat 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Taking supplements in high doses can be harmful. No single antioxidant alone can protect the body.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary supplement can be sold with little or no research on how well it works.
Always tell your doctor if you're using a dietary supplement or if you're thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your standard medical treatment. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Current as of:
December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
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