Antioxidants lower the risk of cancer

Antioxidants lower the risk of cancer

Everyone has heard that taking supplements or eating foods rich in antioxidants helps lower the risk of cancer. This is because they protect against dangerous chemicals called free radicals, which are generated by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, sunlight, X rays, and certain chemicals in the environment as well as through normal metabolic reactions that occur in our bodies every day. Unstable molecules with one electron in their outer shells, free radicals seek completion by "stealing" a second electron from healthy molecules, producing a harmful domino effect that rampages through the body, potentially damaging DNA. Genistein, the major phytoestrogen in soy, has been shown in laboratory experiments to effectively "mop up" free radicals, thereby protecting DNA from harm and potentially reducing the risk of cancer.

Mary Tagliaferri, MD, L.Ac

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