Arm yourself with antioxidants
Cecilia Ho, ND
Make a positive contribution to the cellular war against oxidative free radical damage and keep cancerous cells at bay by consuming a well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Include a comprehensive, high-quality multivitamin and multi-antioxidant dietary supplement.
Free radicals are the highly reactive and unstable molecules that cause cellular oxidation, a process similar to the rusting of metal.
Free radicals are created every day during the normal living processes of turning our food into energy (metabolism) and detoxifying environmental pollutants. Exposure to free radicals also comes from lifestyle choices, including smoking, drinking alcohol, and consuming a poor diet. Free radicals induce damage to our cells and DNA. Free radical attacks–known as oxidative stress–have been associated with accelerated signs of aging and chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
Cause of Cancer
One of the first lines of defence that a healthy body has against free radicals is a highly sophisticated antioxidant protection system, able to neutralize these damaging agents before they can damage cells and DNA. Unfortunately, for some people this protection system is out of balance, increasing their risk for various types of cancer.
The most common cause of cancer is damage to the DNA by oxidative stress, and the most susceptible to this damage is the p53 gene found in every cell. The p53 gene is a tumour-suppressing gene, so called because, when functioning, it stops tumours from forming. If damaged DNA is beyond repair, p53 causes the cell to self-destruct. When free-radicals damage tumour-suppressing genes, cancerous tumours are allowed to grow. Research shows that 60 percent of all cancers, including cancers of the breast, lung, liver, skin, prostate, bladder, cervix, and colon, have a damaged p53 gene.
Do Damage Control
Scientific studies have demonstrated that high doses of certain antioxidants can help prevent cancer by counteracting free radicals and boosting the immune system. Antioxidants in green tea have been shown to have a protective effect against cancer; the active component in the tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate. It helps to activate p53 and stop abnormal cell growth. A component of grape skins known as resveratrol has been shown to have similar protective antioxidant effects. The human body utilizes a complex network of antioxidants composed of several players that work together as a team, so it is important to consume a balanced spectrum of antioxidants.
It would be impossible to eliminate all toxins and pollutants, and the body produces free radicals as normal byproducts of metabolism. However, you can make a positive contribution to the cellular war against oxidative free radical damage and keep cancerous cells at bay by consuming a well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Including a comprehensive, high-quality multivitamin and multi-antioxidant dietary supplement will ensure your all-important p53 gene is protected, keeping your cells youthful and “rust-free.”
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