To better understand the truth behind antioxidants and cancer let’s explain what antioxidants really do and how that relates to cancer.  Antioxidants are a term that most people are familiar with, even if they are not sure what they do. When we hear the term antioxidants we are usually hearing about what foods are high in antioxidants and how we have to eat more of those antioxidants foods so that we can be healthier. The reason that antioxidants make us healthier is that antioxidants are substances that are found in foods and supplements that help prevent our body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals.

Antioxidants and cancer are two terms that you hear together quite often because people wonder if antioxidants can help prevent cancer. The truth is that antioxidants can help prevent cancer because they prevent our body’s cells from becoming damaged by free radicals; it is the free radicals in our body that cause cancer. By preventing the free radicals from damaging any cells, cancer cannot form inside our bodies anywhere.

Free radicals have the potential to cause cancer because of how they work in our bodies. Free radicals are unstable cells that have lost one electron. What they do inside our body is they go around attacking our healthy cells in the attempt to take back an electron to make the free radical whole again. The only problem with this is that the free radicals cannot become whole again, so by taking the electron from the healthy cells the free radicals are simply creating more free radicals. How cancer can be developed from this is that the DNA inside the cells can be damaged when the electron is taken from the healthy cell, if the DNA is damaged you now have a damaged cell that has a possibility of turning into cancer.

Antioxidants help because they provide the free radicals in your body with the electron that they are missing. Providing the free radicals with the missing electron prevents the fee radicals from attacking other cells and taking an electron from the healthy cell, which also means fewer free radicals, will be created from healthy cells. Another benefit to antioxidants is that they can also restore a damaged cell to its original condition because the antioxidants replace the electron that the free radicals removed, which means all of the damage that was done to the cells has now been repaired. Antioxidants also help convert free radicals into waste, which is ultimately removed from the body.

By repairing the damage to your body cells and removing, the excess free radicals antioxidants are helping to prevent cancer. Some antioxidants are better than others are at preventing specific types of cancer, such as Vitamin E and prostate cancer and beta-carotene and lung cancer.