― Antioxidants are a protection from free radicals. Free radicals should be thought of as dangerous, deformed enemies who are out to hurt us. Actually, free radicals are mutated oxygen molecules. They are "mutated" by pollution, sun and other hazards. When free radicals are allowed to run free inside the human body, they will attach to cell walls and start to change the cell. Changes in the cells can bring on early aging and even cancer. .