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15 January 2011

Vitamins and Cancer Prevention

Much has been studied about the role of certain vitamins, minerals and herbs
in cancer prevention. Some of the most promising cancer prevention
properties come from those vitamins that are known as antioxidants.

Antioxidants are substances that protect the body's cells from damage caused
by dangerous free radicals, which can potentially cause cancer. There are
many different sources of antioxidants, including herbs, vitamins, and
foods. Here are some of the most widely recommended supplements thought to
help prevent cancer by fighting free radicals:

Beta Carotene: Beta carotene is thought to reduce the risk of cancer,
especially lung cancer. Beta carotene is naturally occurring in red and
orange foods such as pumpkin, squash, carrots, and red peppers. Beta
carotene can also be found in dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Lutein: Lutein can help prevent colon cancer and encourage good eye health.
Find lutein in dark green vegetables like collard greens, kale and spinach.

Lycopene: Lycopene has been studied for it's prostate cancer preventing
properties. Tomato products are the best sources of lycopene. Studies have
shown that processed tomato products like canned tomatoes, soups and juices
are higher in lycopene than fresh tomatoes.

Vitamin A:Vitamin A, whose most common form is retinol, is a powerful
antioxidant with cancer preventing properties that is found in such foods as
liver, carrots, milk, egg yolk and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin C: Getting enough Vitamin C can help prevent cancers of the mouth,
throat, esophagus, lung and colon. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits,
berries, broccoli, and even lean poultry, beef and types of fish.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is thought to prevent certain types of cancer such as
prostate cancer and can be found in foods like green, leafy vegetables,
fortified cereals, wheat germ oil and almonds.

Green Tea: Green tea is a powerful source of free-radical fighting
antioxidants. Drink green tea in it's natural form or try a supplement if
you can't stand the taste.

It's a good idea to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean
protein and healthy fat like the omegas found in wild salmon. You can add
vitamin supplements to your diet as well. Try a multivitamin that contains
a specialized blend of all the vitamins required for total-body health.

Before adding nutritional supplements to your diet, talk to your doctor or
nutritionist to be sure you take the right dosage and tell them what
medications you are taking to avoid possibly dangerous interactions.


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