In the wake of the recent negative research on pill-form antioxidants, it is important to remember that healthy antioxidant levels from food are protective against many disorders. A recent study looked at vitamin C levels and total antioxidant levels in the blood of over 11,00 individuals. They found that both vitamin C levels and total antioxidant levels were associated with huge reductions in periodontitis (a disease that affects the supporting tissues of the teeth).
This is extremely important because "Periodontitis is the major cause of tooth loss and is also significantly associated with an increased risk of stroke, type-2 diabetes and atheromatous heart disease. Oxidative stress is reported in periodontitis both locally and peripherally (serum), providing potential mechanistic links between periodontitis and systemic inflammatory diseases."In other words, periodontitis is really a symptom of systemic inflammatory conditions and poor antioxidant status. The researchers found that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin C had 62% less periodontitis!