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Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture
Antioxidants are believed to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and memory loss. See staying healthy pictures.

"Look and feel younger!" "Reverse the aging process!" "Boost your energy!" What could possibly do all that? -- antioxidants, devoted pill-poppers will tell you, despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prohibited manufacturers from claiming that consuming their antioxidant products will reduce disease risk.

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­ Each year, countless hopeful Americans shell out billions of dollars on antioxidant supplements (nearly $2 billion, in fact, just on beta carotene and vitamins C and E), believing they will dramatically lower their risk of cancer, heart disease, and memory loss. Most experts agree, however, that taking antioxidants is not a shortcut to good health or the answer to staying young. So, where does that leave us?

In this article, you'll learn the truth about antioxidants: what they are, how they function, how much of them you need, where to find the best dietary sources, and what the latest scientific research shows.