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Antioxidants are our first line of defense against free radical damage, and are critical for maintaining optimum health and wellbeing. The need for antioxidants becomes even more critical with increased exposure to free radicals. Pollution, cigarette smoke, drugs, illness, stress, and even exercise can increase free radical exposure. Because so many factors can contribute to oxidative stress, individual assessment of susceptibility becomes important. Antioxidants terminate the chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often called as reducing agents. Antioxidants are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements and have been investigated for the prevention of diseases such as coronary heart disease and even altitude sickness.