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A9. Antioxidants and Disease

If oxidative damage by dioxygen reduction products can cause disease, maybe antioxidant vitamins (E, C, A), which can form reasonably stable free radical, can protect the body from their effects.

Figure:  antioxidant vitamins (E, C, A)

It has been shown that these vitamins can help protect white blood cells from DNA damage arising from hydroxy free radicals. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin carried in circulating lipoproteins, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, presumably by preventing oxidation of lipids and proteins in lipoproteins. Vitamin E and C, along with a common food additive, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) can form stable free radicals (formed possibly by abstraction of a hydrogen atom by hydroxyl free radicals) since the lone electron is stabilized by resonance and the the O-centered resonant form is sterically restricted from intermolecular interactions which could propagate the free radical chain reactions.

TBA:  Recent literature showing link to antioxidants and cancer

Human mitochondrial protein database from the NIST