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Schematic 3D balls of ascorbic acid or vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin.

An antioxidant is a substance that is easily oxidized. Antioxidant is a term that is most often used in a biological point of view. Certain chemicals in the human body can make free radicals, which are dangerous because they are extremely reactive and damage parts of cells by oxidizing them. Antioxidants, being easily oxidized, are oxidized instead of the cells and the free radical is "absorbed" in the antioxidant. Antioxidants are most often reducing agents because they stop oxidation the best.[1]


There are several uses and applications of antioxidants. For example natural rubber by the presence of alkenes is easily attacked by ozone and chemists solve this problem by adding antioxidants to rubber when making rubber products.[2]


  1. Sies H; Oxidative stress: oxidants and antioxidants Experimental Physiology volume 82 issue 2 pages 291–5 published 1997, pmid 9129943
  2. Brady, James E.; Holum, John R (1996). Chemistry: The Study of Matter and its Changes (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 921. ISBN 0-471-10042-0.