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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Antioxidants


Overview & Description | Functions and Sources

Antioxidants are a certain type of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They help protect your body from some health problems, such as:

  • cancer
  • artery and heart disease
  • arthritis
  • cataracts
  • Beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium are the antioxidants that have been studied the most.


    Researchers are now studying whether taking higher amounts of antioxidant supplements can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They continue to study how much would be needed, how long they would need to be taken, and what would be the long-term side effects. The results will not be known for a few more years.

    In the meantime, experts recommend that people eat a balanced diet low in fat with at least 5 servings per day of fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of whole grains. This provides good sources of the nutrients that help promote health and fight disease. These nutrients include antioxidants, dietary fiber, and other vitamins and minerals.


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    Antioxidants: Functions and Sources

    Author: Kelly Streit, MS, RD, LD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/30/02

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