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Genetic testing proves antioxidants prevent, treat cancer

Thursday, February 24, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: antioxidants, cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) The role of antioxidants in improving health has been a popular topic of study in recent years, as researchers continue to learn how the scavenging of free radicals and reduction in oxidative stress brought about by antioxidants helps prevent a variety of diseases. Now, a new study published in the journal Cancer Biology & Therapy provides actual genetic evidence that antioxidants are crucial in stopping tumor growth and fighting cancer.

Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and his colleagues, found genetic proof that a certain type of oxidative stress that antioxidants work to prevent is responsible for driving tumor growth. As a result, the use of antioxidants in cancer treatments is highly effective, they say.

Lisanti and his team constructed a scientific model to assess how cells react under oxidative stress, and how antioxidants affect this process. They discovered that oxidative stress, and the resulting process of autophagy, or cell component degradation, directly fuels tumor growth. But antioxidants stop this cancer-feeding oxidative process directly.

"Antioxidants have been associated with cancer reducing effects -- beta carotene, for example -- but the mechanisms, the genetic evidence, has been lacking," explained Lisanti. "This study provides the necessary genetic evidence that reducing oxidative stress in the body will decrease tumor growth."

In 2008, a study published in the journal Science revealed specifically how antioxidants interfere with cancer call communication by both halting and reversing their growth and spread throughout the body. Like the new study, it revealed that antioxidants like N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) eliminate toxins, boost immunity, and fight cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/024447_cancer_ant...).

"Now that we have genetic proof that oxidative stress and resulting autophagy are important for driving tumor growth, we should reconsider using antioxidants ... as anti-cancer agents," added Lisanti.

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