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Antioxidants Can Reduce Cancer Risk

Author : Ryan Hendricks


The free radicals that are released from the food substances can cause damage to the body cells. This damage due to free radicals can be prevented by the antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that can protect the cells from damage. The cell damage due to free radicals can lead to the incidence of cancer. The antioxidants have the ability to stabilize the free radicals and some of them are beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E, and A.

The previous clinical trials could not clearly explain the significance of antioxidants in cancer development. The clinical studies that were performed during 1990s concluded that the antioxidants will show their effect on the prevention of cancer. These studies concentrated on the influence of beta-carotene on different cancer patient groups. Among the studies that were conducted on the eradication of cancer risk by antioxidants, Chinese cancer prevention study was published in 1993. This randomized clinical trial was done in healthy Chinese men and women to investigate the effect of beta-carotene, selenium and vitamin E on the gastric cancer risk. The study concluded that the incidence of gastric cancer and other cancers was reduced significantly due to the use of a combination of the above mentioned antioxidants.

In another study called cancer prevention study that was conducted in 1994 says that the rate of lung cancer in Finnish males who were smoking was not affected by the use of vitamin E. This study was part of alpha-Tocopherol (vitamin E)/ Beta-Carotene cancer prevention study. In many other studies that were carried out regarding the association of vitamin E, beta-carotene and retinol (vitamin A) in causing cancer were found to be negative. These studies were held in 1994, 1996 and 1999 while the results of these studies say that the effect of antioxidants like Vitamin E, A and beta-carotene is neutral towards cancer.

The role of antioxidants in cancer prevention is determined by the evidence obtained from chemical studies, cell culturing and animal studies done recently. The free radicals are electrically charged forms of molecules which tend to take away electrons from other molecules that are necessary in the cellular function. In order to make the free radicals not to disturb other molecules, antioxidants neutralize them by donating electrical charge. This will prevent the free radicals to remove electrons from other molecules and cause damage to them. It was observed that decrease in the rate of cancer occurred in people who were eating high quantities of fruits and vegetables. Hence, antioxidants were believed to reduce the risk of cancer.


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Submitted : 2011-03-28    Word Count : 540    Times Viewed: 323