Vitamin E and beta carotene consumption have been associated to the progression of premature lung tumors in high-risk patients. A study published Science Translational Medicine may uncover some of the mystery. Researchers found that mice with early lung cancer given vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine had a 2.8 times increase in lung tumors compared to mice with early lung cancer not given antioxidants. The mice supplemented with antioxidants also experienced more invasive and aggressive tumors, and expired twice as rapidly. What investigators found is that although antioxidants decrease DNA damage, the damage becomes so trivial that the cell doesn’t deploy its cancer-defense system, based on the p53 protein. Normally, when the p53 system identifies significant DNA damage, it kills the cell before it can become malignant. Antioxidants allow cancer cells to remain undetected, preventing their destruction. The scientists stressed that the results only apply to supplements, not antioxidant-rich foods.
How often do you encourage your patients to increase consumption of antioxidant rich foods? What are your thoughts on supplementation with food-based antioxidant products?
For more information visit Reuters
Photo courtesy of [Praisaeng]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net