Do You Really Need Antioxidants?

Deciphering just how valuable antioxidants are in fighting free radicals.


The Bottom Line

To date, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are at best inconclusive, but generally don't provide strong evidence that antioxidant supplements have a substantial impact on diseases such as heart events and cancer. Still, antioxidants continue to be added to breakfast cereals, energy bars, sodas, sports drinks, and other processed foods. Often claims have stretched and distorted data. It appears that antioxidants aren't the magical solution they are sometimes hyped to be.

Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 14, 2013, on It has been edited and republished by U.S. News.