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Surgical patients who take vitamin E and C supplements may be less likely to experience organ failure and have shorter stays in intensive care units, according to a study published in the Annuals of Surgery. This study, which involved 600 patients, concluded that those who took the two vitamins spent less time on a ventilator. Vitamins E and C are antioxidants believed to reduce oxidative stress, which damage cells in organs by producing free radicals. Free radicals are molecules associated with aging and diseases including cancer.