When oxygen is used by cells, by-products called free radicals are naturally formed. Free radicals are molecules with a missing electron. Simply put, free radicals “want” their full share of electrons. They will take electrons from vital cell structures, causing damage and leading to disease. Antioxidants are able to donate electrons. Nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene are antioxidants that block some of this damage by donating electrons to stabilize and neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.