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Antioxidants, Vitamin E and Heart Disease

Antioxidants are natural substances that exist as vitamins, minerals, and other compounds in foods which are believed to help prevent disease by fighting substances called "free radicals" that are produced when the body uses oxygen. Without adequate amounts of antioxidants, free radicals travel throughout the body, damaging cells leading to the development of cardiovascular disease. Antioxidant-rich foods offer benefits by giving additional protection not found in standard oral vitamin supplements.

Vitamin E is most commonly known for its skin benefits such as lessening the effect of scars and protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays. Vitamin E is also known to hinder the buildup of plaque and so it can be used to prevent or treat atherosclerosis. But some researchers also say that vitamin E does not decrease the risk of cardiovascular death or stroke, thus has no significant benefits.