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These are chemicals that reduces the rate of particular oxidation reactions in a specific context, where oxidation reactions are chemical reactions that involve the transfer of electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Antioxidants are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements used for health purposes such as preventing cancer and heart disease.
To minimise the damaging effects of free radicals, a balance of antioxidants is required. The most important ones include: carotenoids such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, tocotrienol, NAC (n-acetyl-l-cysteine), glutathione, bilberry, red wine(grape skins) and green tea. The minerals, zinc and selenium, are crucial components of important antioxidant enzyme systems in the body. While steps should be taken to ensure adequate dietary sources, additional supplementation to provide optimal intake may be desirable.