There are a wide variety of food, health, and beauty products that boast containing Antioxidants in order to convince consumers to buy them.

Is there any scientific data that backs-up the need for products to contain Antioxidants?

Is it possible that humans do not benefit much from increased consumption of Antioxidants?

Or that people pursuing an average diet typically consume enough Antioxidants anyway?

Or is it that Antioxidants truly have value, and it is generally good to consume more Antioxidant products?

3 Answers 3


Problem is, like with vitamins and minerals, your body is only going to process a certain amount of something and then dump the rest. If you have a healthy diet that includes fruits and veggies, you're likely getting all of the anti-oxidants you need.

Skeptoid on high Anti-oxidant claims:

What these tests have found, overall, is that a certain amount of antioxidants is good, but too much is bad; but more significantly, the source of the antioxidants seems to have more importance than the amount. The primary phytochemicals that deliver antioxidants to the body are vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. For the superfruit juices to fulfill their claims, they must therefore contain large amounts of these vitamins. The American Heart Association evaluated five studies of such superfruit juices for their efficacy in preventing cardiovascular disease, which is the main health claim about antioxidants. Of the five, two showed no effects, and three showed negative effects.

Antioxidants on Wikipedia:

Although initial studies suggested that antioxidant supplements might promote health, later large clinical trials did not detect any benefit and suggested instead that excess supplementation may be harmful.

Related Links:

  • Needs references
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 16:47
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    Thanks, I've removed my down vote. If you can point to references from reputable sources, like peer-reviewed papers for example, I'll give you a +1.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 18:04
  • 1
    I'll give it a shot.
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 18:25
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    Further editing: Pub med article on metabolising certain anti-oxidants from the gut: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14757233 Pub med on the destruction of lycopene (an antioxidant) while preserving or cooking: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16379550 Not necessarily relevant or reputable, but an interesting study about the amount of anti-Oxidants found in health drinks: choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/food-and-health/food-and-drink/…
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 18:54
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    Couldn't was restricted from adding the links due to my low reputation. So I added it to comments.
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 19:24

Antioxidants are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements and have been investigated for the prevention of diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease and even altitude sickness. Although initial studies suggested that antioxidant supplements might promote health, later large clinical trials did not detect any benefit and suggested instead that excess supplementation may be harmful.Wikipedia

There are antioxidants that are beneficial to our health, like Green tea or Vitamin C, but they are beneficial not because they are antioxidants.

  • There are some cases where eating anti-oxidants seem to be helpful. For example it seems like that anti-oxidants in red wine neutralizes a lot of the oxidants in red meat. But they have to be eaten together, the magic happens in the stomach. Presumably cooking with red wine would work the same. Commented Mar 2, 2011 at 10:24
  • On the other hand, more than a glass of wine per day can be dangerous because of the alcohol. Commented Mar 9, 2011 at 3:27
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    Surely you can find some better references
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 16:50

The theory about Oxidative stress s controversial. What it is about you can read here:
And be sure you check the References, they are always full of links. The theory says that the animal with most heart beats consumes the most oxigen and dies first. They say it has never been proved..... Byproduct of breathing and burning oxigen so that we can live are free radicals which cause cell damage and that is supposed to be the reason cells age. Scientist still search for an answer how oxidative stress is linked to life span, but from what I can read there is no solid answer yet. I am looking for an answer about antioxidants and whether it is all a scam myself as well. All I can give you is some links and you can explore and learn.... Very interesting is a BBC documantary, which actually triggered my curiosity:
They start to talk about this theory at the end of part 1/4 and they continue to do so. Very interesting is also 2/4 part at 3:30!

I myself am very interested in any links and sources on this matter.
Greetings from Bazzer! :)

  • 1
    Not a real answer. What can you conclude, as an expert skeptic, by checking the references in the wikipedia page?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 16:49

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