While trolling through the net looking at tart cherry juice for post exertional pain http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19883392 ... I come across the wiki article on the ORAC scale (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_radical_absorbance_capacity The article pretty much dismisses antioxidants ( in vivo) , as useful for suppressing free radicals. "A wide variety of foods has been tested using this method, with certain spices, berries and legumes rated highly in extensive tables once published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), but withdrawn in 2012 as biologically invalid, stating that no physiological proof in vivo existed in support of the free-radical theory. Consequently, the ORAC method, derived only in in vitro experiments, is no longer considered relevant to human diets or biology by the USDA." "Although research in vitro indicates polyphenols are good antioxidants and probably influence the ORAC value, antioxidant effects in vivo are probably negligible or absent. By non-antioxidant mechanisms still undefined, flavonoids and other polyphenols may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer." "As interpreted by the Linus Pauling Institute, EFSA and the USDA, dietary polyphenols have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion. Not like controlled test tube conditions, the fate of polyphenols in vivo shows they are poorly conserved (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed existing as chemically modified metabolites destined for rapid excretion." I was hoping this wouldn't apply to bioavailable forms of supplemental antioxidants that i have spent a billion dollars on since getting ill, but wiki has this to say- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidant_supplements " Although initial studies suggested that antioxidant supplements might promote health, later large clinical trials with a limited number of antioxidants detected no benefit and even suggested that excess supplementation with certain putative antioxidants may be harmful.[4) There could be other mechanisms in these supplements that make good sense for me/cfs people to take them. I just thought i would draw attention to this as supplements are often touted for their antioxidant effects. It does seem strange that we might be spending large sums of money on another ineffective strategy. Maybe someone with more knowledge on this could elaborate and clarify.