Antioxidants, nutritional supplements and life-threatening diseases.Br J Biomed Sci 1994; 51(3):288-95BJ
Antioxidants are a complex and diverse group of molecules that protect key biological sites from oxidative damage. They usually act by removing or inactivating chemical intermediates that produce the ultimate oxidant. Different sites in the body have evolved to use highly specialised strategies to deal with free radicals and other reactive oxygen intermediates. Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that the development of life-threatening disease, such as cancer and heart disease, is linked to our dietary intake of micronutrients including antioxidants. Modification of dietary habits together with supplementation may provide a simple yet profound way to reduce deaths from these two major diseases. Sound scientific evidence to support a curative role for antioxidants in life-threatening diseases, however, is lacking.