How To Use Antioxidants to Prevent Cancer

Antioxidant Fruit & Veggies VS. Antioxidant Supplements

Using Phytochemicals to Prevent Cancer Research has shown time and time again that eating fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of having many types of cancer. Initially, the benefit was believed to be due to the antioxidants in the produce but, when they just gave people antioxidants without the fruit or vegetable, there was no cancer prevention.

In a research study, doctors looked at the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables and how they prevent cancer. They found that most fruits and vegetables contain potent phytochemicals that have antioxidant activities as well as anti-cancer properties. Antioxidants can help prevent cancer by scavenging for free radicals that can damage cells, resulting in cancer.

According to the study, the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables work to decrease cancer because they work together to fight cancer. If doctors try to give the antioxidant separately, the synergy between the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables is lost. It means that it is better to eat the produce than it is to take an antioxidant supplement.

Dr. Adem Gunes

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Food Antioxidants and Cancer

Breast Cancer Authority Blog - Food Antioxidants and CancerBy: Micheal Greger, MD, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States..

The USDA recently removed their online antioxidant database of foods, concerned that ORAC values were routinely misused by food and dietary supplement manufacturing companies to promote their products. Indeed, supplement manufacturer’s got into my-orac-is-bigger-than-your-orac pissing contests, comparing their pills to the antioxidant superfood du jour, like blueberries, and we know there’re lots of bioactive compounds in whole plant foods that may help prevent and ameliorate chronic disease in ways that have nothing to do with their antioxidant power, so I understand their decision. So should we just eat lots of whole healthy plant foods and not worry about which one necessarily has more antioxidants than the other, or does one’s dietary antioxidant intake matter?

We have some new data one some of our top killers. Dietary total antioxidant capacity and the risk of stomach cancer, the world’s second leading cancer killer. A half million people studied, and dietary antioxidant capacity intake from different sources of plant foods was associated with a reduction in risk. Note they say dietary intake; they’re not talking about supplements.

Not only do antioxidant pills not seem to help, they seem to increase overall mortality, it’s like you’re paying to live a shorter life. Just giving high doses of isolated vitamins may cause disturbances in your body’s own natural antioxidant network, and there are hundreds of different antioxidants in plant foods. They don’t act in isolation; they work synergistically. Mother nature cannot be trapped in a bottle.

Similar results were recently reported with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the more ORAC units you eat per day, the lower your cancer risk drops, though antioxidants or not, greens were particularly protective. Look at that. You go from eating one serving of green leafy vegetables per week to a serving a day, that may cut one’s odds of lymphoma in half.

Should we be worried about antioxidant intake during cancer treatment, since most chemo drugs work by creating free radicals? According to some of the latest reviews, there is no evidence of antioxidant interference with chemotherapy, and in fact they may actually improve treatment and patient survival.

Doctor’s Notes:

But should we take a multivitamin? See Should We Take a Multivitamin?

What about fish oil supplements? Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil?

I recently covered how and why we should strive to eat antioxidants with every meal in an important three-part series:

  1. Minimum “Recommended Daily Allowance” of Antioxidants
  2. How to Reach the Antioxidant “RDA”
  3. Antioxidant Rich Foods With Every Meal

Preferentially getting one’s nutrients from produce not pills is a common theme in the nutrition literature. See, for example:

Antioxidants may also slow aging, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and help prevent COPD. So where are antioxidants found? See my series that starts with Antioxidant Content of 3139 Foods and Antioxidant Power of Plant Foods Versus Animal Foods.

What about the role of antioxidants in other leading causes of death? That’s the subject of my next video, Food Antioxidants, Stroke, and Heart Disease.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

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