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Antioxidant

A substance that prevents a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation damage to body cells can cause genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. So it has been proposed that eating foods high in antioxidants might help prevent cancer.

However, because it is extremely difficult to separate out the effects of different substances in our diets, it has so far been extremely difficult to prove that this is the case.

Updated: 17 September 2009