Anti-Oxidants and Cancer Prevention

We are sure that you are not hearing the word antioxidant for the first time. There are great things circulating the market about anti-oxidants and there are people and companies who make tall claims with respect to them.

Let us look at some of these claims and attempt to understand how best they can be used in preventing cancer and promoting general health. Some of the claims that you may have heard are:

  • Antioxidants prevent cancer;
  • Antioxidants treat cancer;
  • Antioxidants slow down the aging process;
  • Antioxidants stimulate the brain function;
  • Antioxidants strengthen the immunity system.

Let us look at antioxidants in detail.

What are antioxidants?

There is no doubt about the importance of oxygen in our lives. As our bodies consume oxygen, by-products or free radicals are produced. This is a normal response but can cause damage to the healthy cells.

Foods Rich In AntiOxidants

Foods Rich In AntiOxidants

Free radicals are also produced in a body that is exposed to cigarette smoke, excessive exposure to sun, alcohol and heavy metals. Antioxidants are elements that neutralize the effect of free radicals. Examples of antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E, lycopene and other substances.

Foods rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are abundantly found in fruits and vegetables, including nuts and grains. These are also found in fish and poultry. Different foods in which antioxidants are found are:

Antioxidant

Foods in which found

Beta-carotene 
  • Found in foods that are orange in color and green leafy vegetables.
  • Sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, mangoes, collard greens, spinach, and kale.
Lutein
  • Is associated with healthy eyes.
  • Found in green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach, and kale.
Lycopene
  • Found in watermelons, tomatoes, papaya, guava,¬†grapefruit, apricots and blood oranges.
Selenium
  • It is a mineral that is a part of antioxidant enzymes.
  • Found in rice, wheat and brazil nuts
Vitamin A
  • Vitamin exists in three forms – Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2 and Vitamin A3.
  • Found in foods like sweet potates, liver, carrots, milk, egg yolks and cheese.
Vitamin C
  • Also known as ascorbic acid
  • Found in abundance in fruits, vegetables, cereals, poultry, fish and beef.
Vitamin E
  • Also known as alpha-tocopherol
  • Found in almonds, oil derived from wheat germ, soyabean, corn and safflower.
  • Also found in mangoes, nuts and brocolli

 Antioxidants and Cancer

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An extensive study done on animals proves that Anti-Oxidants can help in fighting and preventing cancer. The initial claims were that it can work on any type of cancer. The research is still on and the attempts are being made to ensure that the Anti-Oxidants can effectively fight cancer. The Anti-Oxidants can fight with the free radicals and make them weak. As a result the cancer cells die. People who generally eat a lot of fruits and vegetables suffer from fewer diseases and they also have a healthy body. This is a good enough indicator of the fact. If the Anti-Oxidants and Cancer Prevention can be proved stronger then it can be a revolution in the cancer research and treatment.

Riders

Antioxidants cannot be considered to be a one stop solution for a variety of diseases. There are quite a few riders attached to the use of antioxidants. As they say excess of anything can be bad the same holds true for antioxidants.

There are other aspects related to antioxidants which are not that promising and need consideration. It has been observed that people who are exposed to asbestos and are smokers can be immensely damaged by beta carotene. It can increase their chances of developing lung cancer.

Some women who have a huge intake of vitamin C can develop skin cancer. So there are two aspects to the topic of Anti-Oxidants and Cancer Prevention and we have to discuss both. Well too much of anything might have its consequences. The product might be right on the amount of Anti-Oxidants that it contains. However, regular intake of such high amount of Anti-Oxidants might not be a good idea. It can lead to health complications. Sometime as we have already mentioned too much of Anti-Oxidants can even cause cancer.

images (31)In addition it is important that antioxidants be consumed from natural sources rather than supplements and artificial sources. When these natural sources are taken there is an automatic increase of Anti-Oxidants in the body. As a result the person lives a healthy live. Artificial sources of Anti-Oxidants might not be a necessity unless a doctor advices you accordingly. When there are so many natural sources of Anti-Oxidants then why should be look at artificial options. We hope that this article was able to clarify the concept of Anti-Oxidants and Cancer Prevention.

Important Facts:

Let us look at some important facts about antioxidants. These facts will help acquire a better understanding the basis of the above mentioned claims.

  • There are different types of antioxidants that are found in nature
  • Damage to cells by free radicals can lead to cancer and antioxidants prevent this very damage to the cells
  • The result of researches with respect to use of antioxidants for prevention of cancer have shown conflicting results
  • A healthy diet comprising of fruits and vegetables can ensure a sufficient supply of antioxidants.

References:

Website of National Cancer Institute, U.S.A.

Harvard School of Public Health Research Papers

Author
  • dr-rajesh-tekchandani-photo
  • Dr Rajesh Tekchandani
  • My goal is that all people specially poor and needy people should get health facility free of cost and they must show faith in system. there must be awareness to control population . Safe birth and proper care of mother and child, total security. Specialties: can convince people at mass level, educate people for health in simple language and can present government health plan anywhere