Although antioxidants cannot completely rid our bodies of free radicals, they can however work to retard or minimize the damage caused. Antioxidants block the process of oxidation by neutralizing free radicals. By neutralizing, they themselves become oxidized. For this reason, our bodies are always in need of a constant source of antioxidants. Based on a work done on human blood in the lab, a recently published study says that the dietary antioxidants present in honey slow the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL). Too much LDL in the blood leads to atherosclerotic plaque deposition. Like a previous University of Illinois study in 1999, researchers found in both studies that dark-colored honey, especially buckwheat, provide more protective dietary antioxidant punch than lighter-colored honeys. Now, I'm sure you know what free radicals are. This is probably not the first time you've heard about it. But for the sake of those who have only just stumbled on the term, free radicals are those unstable chemical substances that are highly reactive and are by-products of the process of oxidation in the body. One of the many functions of natural antioxidants is to work against the formation of cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances which are produced whenever our body undergoes the process of oxidation, e.g. breathing. When free radicals are released, they immediately latch unto other molecules, stealing their electrons and in so doing, turning them into unstable molecules like themselves. Because of this function, herbal antioxidants are said to play a role in the prevention and potential cure of various degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and several others. If there is one other thing you need to know about herbal antioxidants, it is that they are not naturally found in the body. Our cells need oxidation in order to undergo metabolism of fats and glucose so they can turn into heat and energy. Oxidation is a vital part of life. But as vital as oxidation is, it can also have some negative effects on the body. During the process of oxidation, highly unstable substances called free radicals are produced.