For years, health experts have raved of the regenerative benefits of antioxidants. From heart disease to eye deterioration, antioxidants have been touted as one of the best preventatives for disease. But now, scientists are wondering if the very mechanisms that allow antioxidants to protect healthy cells may also protect cancer cells.
Before going any further, what exactly is an antioxidant? In layman’s terms, it’s a chemical compound that prevents the oxidation of another molecule, or the loss of electrons. When you’re a molecule and lose electrons, you change chemically; hence, maintaining molecular equilibrium should stave off everything from cancer to skin aging.
But what if that same protective mechanism worked for cancerous cells? New research shows that antioxidants, at high levels, don’t pick a side when it comes to healthy or malignant cells. A group of Swedish scientists found that melanoma, in particular, was especially receptive to a boost of antioxidants.
Does that mean that you should forgo blueberries and vitamin C supplements if you have cancer or are cancer prone? Not necessarily. But the multi-million dollar industry of antioxidant pushing may have to rethink itself. For instance, antioxidant phenols (most common among them, resveratrol) have been shown to restructure cells when under attack from pathogens. While resveratrol is an antioxidant, it is also a pro-oxidant and this Jekyll-and-Hyde chemical identity has been argued to be effective in treating cancer. In other words, a glass of wine might be more beneficial than a bowl of berries.
Read full article at If You Know Someone With Cancer, Share This News About Anti-Oxidants