Antioxidant Cancer Prevention Few Americans are educated on antioxidants, and how antioxidants can help in our daily diet. Antioxidants are micro-nutrients that protect tissues in the body. They do this by blocking harmful chemical reactions caused by oxidation, which is the destructive effect of oxygen on the molecular components of our cells. Just as oxygen can cause metals to rust and corrode, it can pull electrons from organic molecules making them defective and capable of producing cellular damage (Weil). Prevention and possible treatment of cancer with antioxidants is vital to understand. We know of cancer patients, and understand that cancer can be deadly. Because cancer is the second major cause of death, understanding cancer and antioxidants is very important.. As of right now surgery and chemotherapy are the only killer of the disease, and there is no limited ability to cure. Cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in any part of the body, which can result in a tissue swelling or tumor. Free radicals have been connected to be a cause of cancer. There are two types of free radicals, nitric oxide free radicals and reactive oxygen radicals (Geiger 95). Free radicals are responsible for aging and tissue damage. These free radical molecules are very unbalanced, so they look to bond with other molecules (Panglossi
2). Free radicals are harmful, causing cell damage or apoptosis which is cell death. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, free radicals can multiply through a chain reactions resulting in the release of thousands of these cellular oxidants. When the chain reactions starts it spreads to cells throughout the body. These free radical molecules are very unbalanced, so they look to bond with other molecules (Panglossi 2). When this happens, cells can become so badly damaged that DNA codes can be altered and immunity can be compromised. Contact with a free radical or oxidant on this scale can create cellular deterioration, resulting in diseases like cancer. Free radicals are also responsible for aging and tissue damage. Free radicals are very harmful, causing cell damage or apoptosis which is cell death. Antioxidants stop the chain reactions by binding and removing the free radicals and inhibiting the possibility of further other oxidation reactions. Antioxidants are chemicals that defuse free radicals and other biologically damaging molecular fragments in the body. Examples of antioxidants are selenium, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C well known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are found in a full-range of fruits and vegetables, as well as in some meat, like fish. However, fruits and vegetables are a key dietary source of antioxidants. Although, our body produces its own antioxidants, the level of product declines over time because of environmental factors and through the aging process (Passwater 16) The supplement, selenium is a mineral that is important to healthy living. Selenium is found in protein such as meat, fish and nuts. It’s a type of antioxidant that is strongly argued over. Scientists have debated whether selenium can fight cancer in humans. Selenium has more than one form of the essential micro-nutrient. It turns out that not all selenium's are the same. Researchers have found that one type of selenium supplement may produce a possible cancer preventing substance more efficiently than another form of selenium in human cancer cells
(“Medical News Today” 1). In 2004 a randomized study, Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, designed to determine whether selenium and vitamin E alone and in combination can reduce the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men. The Selenium and SELECT trials took place in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. The goal of the SELECT was to measure if taking selenium and vitamin E supplements can prevent prostate cancer in men age 50 or older. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT)...
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