Antioxidants are compounds that can inhibit or prevent the harmful effects of oxidation. When oxidation occurs in the body, waste products called “free radicals”, or Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), are produced and can cause damage to cells.

There are two kinds of Antioxidants, Endogenous Antioxidants, produced naturally in the body, and Exogenous Antioxidants, sourced from outside the body. While Endogenous Antioxidants provide some defense against oxidation, remaining unopposed free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, potentially contributing to a variety of health problems noted below, highlighting the importance of Exogenous Antioxidant intake.1

Antioxidants are best obtained from their natural food sources, and since each serves a unique purpose/function, a variety is recommended for an optimized balance.  Examples of important Antioxidants found in plant-based food sources include: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Phenolic Acids, various Carotenoids such as β-Carotene, Flavonoids, Manganese, Selenium, Copper, and Zinc.1,2

Non-nutrient Antioxidants, primarily carotenoids or flavonoids, are thought to have greater Antioxidant potential than vitamins and minerals.2

Balanced Antioxidant intake is important for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Unchecked or excessive free radicals and oxidative stress may be linked to such health complications as: heart disease, stroke, hypertension, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, respiratory diseases, vision loss, immune deficiency, inflammatory and ischemic conditions, Parkinson’s, dementia, and various other aging and chronic degenerative diseases.1,2 Cardiovascular Disease has some of the strongest evidence implicating excessive oxidative stress as a contributor.2

  1. Ware, M. (2018, May 29). How can antioxidants benefit our health? MedicalNewsToday.
  2. Caballero, B., Allen, L., Prentice, A. (2005). Antioxidants. In Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, 2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 117-146. Elsevier.