The paradox of aerobic life is that higher eukaryotic organisms cannot exist without oxygen, yet oxygen is inherently dangerous to their existence. Autoxidation of organic substances frequently occurs via free radical mechanism which generates different active radicals and peroxides OH•, O2 •-, LO2 •, HOOH, LOOH, so called reactive oxygen species (ROS), which appear to be responsible for oxygen toxicity. To survive in such an unfriendly oxygen environment, living organisms generate - or obtain from food - a variety of water- and lipid-soluble antioxidant compounds. Biologically active compounds with antioxidant potential, i.e. bio-antioxidants (natural and their synthetic analogues) have a wide range of applications. They are important drugs, antibiotics, agrochemical substitutes, and food preservatives. Many of the drugs today are synthetic modifications of naturally obtained substances. This review presents information about the chemical base of antioxidant activities and beneficial effects on human health of known and new bio-antioxidants. There is abundant literature on the phenolic antioxidants and tocopherols in particular. In this review the following bio-antioxidants are considered: A) Carotenoids, B) Cathecholamines, C) Phospholipids, D) Chalcones, E) Coumarins, F) Phenolic acids, G) Flavonoids, H) Lignans, and I) Tannins.