Can Antioxidants Protect Against Cancer?

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Antioxidants
Antioxidants

 

A big benefit that is derived from taking antioxidants is that they can help in reducing your cancer risk.

But, in order to enjoy that benefit, you have to make sure that you are having them in just the right quantities.

If you over do it, you may well cause the opposite effect you are searching for and end up increasing the chances of contracting the disease.

In this article I will take a look at, and try to give a simplified explanation of the link between antioxidants and cancer.

How Antioxidants Help Protect Against Cancer

Oxygen is a necessity for life and our bodies use it to perform a vast array of chemical reactions.

This situation puts us in a little bit of a pickle though, because when our bodies use the oxygen, they also churn out these harmful little by-products called free radicals.

These free radicals cause some serious damage your cells and vital organs, and studies have shown that this damage can lead to an increase in your risk of contracting cancer.

Antioxidants protect against the damage caused by free radicals in the body and help keep your cells and vital organs safe from their negative effects.

Therefore, by getting an ample supply of natural antioxidants in your diet, you can lower your cancer risk.

How Antioxidants Can Increase Your Risk of Getting Cancer

Ok, from what we know so far antioxidants have really good protective properties when it comes to cancer.

But we need to be cautious, because they can sometimes have the opposite effect and increase your cancer risk.

A number of studies [1] have found that consuming high doses of antioxidant supplements causes an increase in the development of lung cancer and skin cancer.

Also if you are consuming excessively large amounts of antioxidants, it eliminates their protective properties and actually increases the rate at which free radicals attack and damage your body.

This increased rate of oxidative damage allows your cells and vital organs to be much more susceptible to cancer.

Reducing the Risks of Cancer with Antioxidants

To ensure that you get the maximum benefit from the antioxidants you are consuming and keep cancer at bay, make sure you source them naturally.

The antioxidants found in fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables are highly effective at fighting cancer and come in the quantities that your body needs.

However, if you decide to take them in the form of supplements, you will find that they often contain mega doses of the nutrients and it’s these large doses which can reverse the protective properties of the antioxidants, cause complications and increase your cancer risk.

In addition to helping with cancer prevention, they also boost your health in other ways. So make sure your diet contains plenty of natural antioxidant rich foods so you can enjoy the benefits of longer periods of good health.

Resources:

[1] http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/#potential hazards of antioxidants

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About Me: I am a Certified Nutritional Therapist and Certified Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor. I have also been a researcher and writer in the health, wellness and lifestyle industry for over 9 years. I'm International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT) approved, CPD accredited, YMCA awards endorsed, and a husband and father to 2 beautiful daughters. My mission is to help people to take control of their health and well-being by following a healthy enjoyable lifestyle, that not only gives them the body they’ve always wanted, but helps towards living a longer, happier, disease free life.

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