Which vitamins are considered "antioxidant vitamins?" Why is this role so important?
Vitamins C, E, and beta carotene (a provitamin) are antioxidants that inactivate oxygen free radicals. Free radicals damage cell membranes, DNA, and other cell structures. They also contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Antioxidant vitamins may also decrease cancer risk, delay aging, and decrease the risk of cataract formation.