Cancer remains an arch enemy of mankind for ages. This is quite a complex and multifaceted disease in which there are several risk factors, thereby complicating attempts aimed at prevention or cure. Antioxidants – one pathway towards fighting cancer. Antioxidants have been lauded as being capable of inhibiting or reducing the risk of cancer in molecular terms. However, there exist some contradictions in this connection.
All of us know that antioxidants are substances indispensable for our general health support. However they mainly act as enzymes that help to neutralize
free radicals, the unstable molecules that have potential to cause damages to cells, proteins and DNA inside our bodies. Free radicals are very reactive
which are naturally occurring during metabolism and also arising due to external factors such as UV radiation, pollution and smoking.
There are many types of antioxidants such as vitamin e and c, minerals like
Phytochemicals and selenium that are obtainable from vegetables and fruits such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
However, humans’ bodies too can produce their own antioxidants, for example glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Together these antioxidants work in a synergistic manner to guard on health that is critical for keeping us sound.
Oxidative Stress and Cancer
It happens when the excesses of free radicals are not balanced by sufficient amounts of antioxidants capable of mitigating their negative action. The imbalance may cause cell damage which contributes to cancer formation. Our cells are especially exquisite to oxidative damage, with damage in DNA responsible for causing cancer.
Oxidation is also usually more common in cancer. The enhanced oxidative stress may result in accumulation of DNA mutations that allow cancer cells to grow indefinitely by evading the body’s normal protective measures. Furthermore, oxidative stress increases inflammations that have been associated with cancer development and progression.
Antioxidants in Cancer Prevention
Antioxidants help in cancer prevention as they can not only neutralize the oxidative stress but also safeguard the viability of our cells and genetic material.
The results from the research in regard to the role of antioxidants in the prevention of cancer are not consistent, the reason being the matter is quite complex. Know more about Antioxidants: Shield Against Cancer Risk
Let us understand some of the key antioxidants and their vital roles in the prevention of cancer :
Vitamin C : Undoubtedly Vitamin C is a highly reactive and powerful water soluble antioxidant that is capable of neutralizing free radicals. It is present in various vegetables and fruits, strawberries, citric fruits etc. Some of the researchers have found evidence suggesting that high levels of Vitamin C in the diet can help to decrease the risk of developing different types of cancer such as stomach’s cancer, mouth’s cancer and esophagus cancer etc.
Vitamin E: Nutrient, vitamin E is an antioxidant substance that exists among nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. It can prevent damage to cell membranes by the oxidative. However, there have been some arguments about the effectiveness of vitamin E in reducing cancer risks with conflicting findings among different cancer types.
Selenium – Selenium, an essential element, significantly bolsters the body’s antioxidant defenses. Abundant in nuts, seeds, and seafood, it plays a pivotal role. Robust research underscores selenium’s potential to actively diminish the risk of specific cancers, such as prostate cancer.
Carotenoids – Carotenoids are found in carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach. These types of antioxidants help to reduce the chances of developing breast and lung cancer.
Phytochemicals – Phytochemicals in vegetables and fruits, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, have antioxidative effects, providing cancer protection in clinical trials.
Controversy and Complexity
Though there is potential for antioxidants against cancer, their role in the treatments and prevention of cancer is a matter of complexities and controversies. However it has been proven that some of the high doses of supplements related to antioxidants may result in negative outcomes as well.
Such a paradoxical effect could arise from the thin boundary between free radicals and antioxidants. On the other hand, certain amounts of overdose of antioxidants can upset this equilibrium, thereby affecting the body’s natural preventive measures against cancer. Thus, it highlights that there is a need of getting antioxidants from varied food sources instead of depending on tablets.
Furthermore, antioxidant effects may not be universally effective across all forms of cancer. The effect of antioxidants on cancer risk may vary according to the antioxidant in question – its type and dose – as well as depending on the type of cancer and the person’s general condition. For instance, antioxidants of different sorts can reduce the likelihood of getting lung cancer or breast or prostate cancer more effectively. You can know more about Unlocking the Power of Antioxidants
The Mediterranean Diet: An Antioxidant-Rich Approach
One can utilize a lot in harnessing the advantages of antioxidants for preventing cancer. In fact, the Mediterranean diet involves plenty of whole grains, nuts, legumes, vegetables and olive oil. The various phytochemicals and antioxidants that are present in food helps in fighting with cancer. Learn more about Mediterranean Diet: Antioxidants for Health
Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet helps to reduce the risk of developing various kinds of cancer such as breast and colon cancer
Antioxidants and cancer prevention have a complicated and multifarious relation. Body’s defense against oxidative stress is maintained through its defense mechanism of oxidative stress by antioxidants. Some of the studies have shown that antioxidants have the potential that helps to lower the risks for certain types of cancers, however the effects may vary not only from one type of cancer to another but also from one person to another. Know more about The Crucial Role of Antioxidants in Cancer Prevention.
Overuse of supplements can have unexpected effects by disrupting the equilibrium between free radicals and antioxidants that work together.
Antioxidants have proven themselves reliable weapons in the war against cancer. Promoting a comprehensive approach to cancer prevention. Healthy Lifestyle is vital and regular screenings are essential. As our understanding of antioxidants and how they help prevent cancer deepens, it will become more complex; aiding us as we continually try to prevent cancer.