Antioxidants as Treatment for Diseases (Susanna Nguy CCNY)

This post was written by a student in Lynn Reid’s Writing for the Sciences class at the City College of New York. After researching a scientifically debatable topic and writing about it for an audience of academic peers, this assignment asks students to present a multi-modal argument of the same topic to a popular audience.

Antioxidants have been presented as being the new miracle substance for mankind for the last few years in the media. Many companies have marketed their food products as being filled with antioxidants that will protect the body from free radicals, despite the fact that there is generally very little specific information about exactly how antioxidants benefit the body (in preventing disease, treating diseases, etc). In my project, I researched the success scientists have had with utilizing antioxidants directly as treatments for symptoms or complications of diseases characterized by high levels of free radicals. I have concluded that antioxidants should not be currently utilized as treatments for diseases and have attempted to explain how I came to this conclusion by briefly summarizing the results of several studies in an outline format that clearly states the flaws/positive aspects of each study. I hope to clear up some of the misconceptions that some people have about the power of antioxidants and remind others that science has yet to uncover the cure to all health problems.

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