Thursday, May 05, 2011

Antioxidants -- How it helps prevent Cancer

While we are talking about cancer there are few terms which we need to understand. Free radicals, antioxidants, oxidative damage, malignant cell growth, metastasis etc. initially it was thought that cancer is caused due to some virus but over the years researchers studied the damage at cellular level and spread of the disease mainly due to free radicals.

In today’s life we are exposed to free radicals which cause oxidative damage leading to unhealthy cell growth. The simple example of oxidative damage is cut apple. If you cut an apple and keep it open for some time, it turns brown in color. If you will apply lemon juice or sugar on the cut side of an apple, it will not turn brown. As application of lemon stops or hiders oxidation activity. Free radicals are very reactive particles which initiate chain reaction causing damage to the cell.

The same principle is applied to our body. Cancer, heart diseases, aging etc is caused due to free radicals also. Harmful ultraviolet rays from sun, X-ray, gamma rays; cigarette smoke, car exhaust, industrial fumes etc expel free radicals. Human body undergoes about 10,000 free radical hits every day. This is where antioxidants play major role and we can lower the chances or prevent the life threatening disease.

Antioxidants are the substance which interferes in the chain reaction of free radical at cellular level. They bind with the unstable atom of free radical and prevent the damage (known as oxidative damage) to the target cell. They are natural substance present in fruits and vegetables, grain, green leafy vegetables. They also improve immunity, decreases chances of plaque formation, aging process etc. Studies have also suggested that consuming antioxidants can revert male infertility.

Top three vitamins which have effective role as an antioxidant are Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Selenium is potent antioxidant with beneficial effects on skin and hair. Need to incorporate these nutrients in our daily life to fight against cancer and live long young!!

Brought to you in association with Desi Dieter