|Source: Wikipedia. Oxidized iron, or better known as rust.|
This article basically sums up my entire opinion of antioxidants. Yes, we probably need antioxidants. But we don't know nearly enough about biological oxidation and dietary antioxidants to be able to come up with a miracle diet or formula to prevent disease. And it appears that our body even uses some oxidation to its advantage, as a previous study has shown that high doses of antioxidants can prevent the insulin sensitizing effect of exercise. So my rule of thumb for antioxidants, avoid the foods that don't have them, which just so happen to be white flour, white rice, and sugar. How convenient.
And if you have fifteen minutes, here is an excellent talk by a physician turned epidemiologist. He discusses the major problems of epidemiology and newspaper headlines, and the serious ethical dilemmas we are encountering with large pharmaceutical trials. He also mentions the publication bias problem that I mentioned in my meta-analysis post.