Antioxidants: Health Benefits and Side Effects of Antioxidants

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayed

What is Antioxidant?

Antioxidant is a molecule that is capable of inhibiting or slowing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers hydrogen or electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals which in turn lead to chain reactions of these radicals. When this chain reaction occurs in a cell it can cause death to the cell. By removing intermediates of free radical antioxidant dismisses these chain reactions. It reduces cell damage and speed up recovery; it is also very beneficial for overall health. There are various types of antioxidants which include vitamins such as vitamins E as well as flavonoids, coenzyme Q10 and other natural compounds.

Where Antioxidants Come From?

You can get oxidants from vegetables such as broccoli, green peppers, raw cabbage and potatoes. Citrus fruits and strawberries are also rich in antioxidants. Plants such as cranberries, acai, spirulina, bilberries, persimmons, green tea, soy, dandelion, milk thistle and beetroot are all good sources of antioxidants.

Benefits of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are present in many dietary supplements, there are different types of antioxidants that are unique and help to improve general wellbeing.

Antioxidant for Recovery

The amount of free radicals increases during workout due to excessive consumption of oxygen; this may lead to cell damage and oxidative stress. Supplements containing antioxidants may help to reduce the damages caused by oxidative stress.

Antioxidant for Recovery

Antioxidant for Health

Antioxidants help to remove free radicals from the bloodstream. They provide many health benefits; many studies have proven that it prevents skin aging and improve the skin texture, it also protect the skin from sun damage as well as decrease the prevalence of sunburn. Antioxidant can help in the prevention of age related disease such as –

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cataracts
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Macular degeneration

Side Effects of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are generally safe if taken in appropriate amount. Supplements that contain antioxidants may reduce the ability of your body to fight against oxidative stress. However, it can work best for individuals who have not developed their internal antioxidant defense system.

Recommended Doses and Timing for Antioxidants

There are different forms of antioxidants, follow the instructions of your specialist. It is not possible to recommend dosage that applies for all. There are certain types of antioxidants that can be taken with food throughout the day.

Antioxidant Supplements

There are antioxidant supplements available in the market. They are present in pre workout as well as post workout supplements. It is also found in the extensive range of other supplements such as protein powders, multivitamins and protein bars.


Contributor : Dr. Ahmed Zayed ()

This Article Has Been Published on June 11, 2014 and Last Modified on September 27, 2018

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain Shams University. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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