By John Corbin
Just what are antioxidants and can they do anything to help prevent or fight cancer?
Information from the National Cancer Institute describe antioxidants as substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E, and A, and other substances.
Can antioxidants prevent cancer?
Considerable laboratory evidence indicates that antioxidants may slow or even prevent the development of cancer. However, information from recent clinical trials is less that clear.
Five large-scale clinical trials published in the 1990s reached differing conclusions about the effect of antioxidants on cancer. The studies examined the effect of antioxidants on cancer in different groups. A study published in 1993 showed a combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium significantly reduced incidence of both gastric cancer and cancer overall.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals as the natural by-product of normal cell processes. Free radicals are molecules with incomplete electron shells which make then more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells. Exposure to various environmental factors, including tobacco smoke and radiation, can also lead to free radical formation. (We pick up a lot of radiation from the sun, enough to burn our skin). In humans the most frequent form of free radicals is oxygen.
When an oxygen molecule becomes electrically charged of "radicalized" it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA and other molecules. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to disease including cancer. Antioxidants are often described as "mopping up" free radicals, meaning they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radicals from taking electrons from other molecules.
Antioxidants used to be abundant in fruits and vegetables and nuts and grains. Due to our soils being nutritionally depleted the amount of antioxidants available in our food is now less that previously. It is recommended that we supplement our diet with good nutritional products.
Copyright (C) 2007 John Steven Corbin John Steven Corbin is 54 years of age. He has done extensive investigation into the area of alternative health care. For more that 2 decades he has been searching for the best products and services for himself and his family. He had also taken advanced studies in real estate and insurance, He is an author, speaker and entrepreneur. To get more a Free Ebook and information on these great products go to http://www.thewellnesscaravan.com
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