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n. a substance capable of neutralizing oxygen free radicals, the highly active and damaging atoms and chemical groups produced by various disease processes and by poisons, radiation, smoking, and other agencies. Antioxidants occur naturally in the body and in certain foods and beverages; they may also be ingested in the form of supplements. They include vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (tocopherols), and β-*carotene.

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