The reasoning behind our enthusiasm for antioxidants makes a lot of sense. Our normal metabolism creates potentially dangerous substances called free radicals. We can also be exposed to free radicals from toxins like cigarette smoke, excessive sun exposure, and pollution…webmd.com, Can Antioxidant Supplements Prevent Heart Disease? The Answer May Surprise You? R. Todd Hurst, MD, FACC, 2021
The problem with free radicals is that they can cause cell damage (called oxidative stress), leading to health problems like heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer.
Antioxidants are potentially helpful because they have been shown in laboratory studies to neutralize free radicals. Also, many healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries are high in antioxidants. This information led to the idea that antioxidant supplements could help prevent heart disease and cancer.