Antioxidants may save you from prostate cancer
Current studies have shown that high levels of selenium, Vitamin E and lycopene found in tomatoes can lower down the risk of acquiring prostate cancer.
Low Levels Equates to Increased Risk
The researchers found out that these antioxidants helped in preventing prostate cancer in 1 out every 4 Caucasian male or those who were born with a genetic variation that is specifically sensitive to oxidative stress. Researchers were also able to come up with the idea that if these men have antioxidant levels, the likelihood of getting cancer is too high.
The Research Study
The study led by Dr Haojie Li made an analysis of 567 men with prostate cancer from 1982 to 1995. The study also included 764 men who were cancer-free. The main goal of the researchers was to determine the effectiveness of aspirin and beta-carotene on the overall health of the subjects.
As part of the study, they checked variations in gene markers. They concentrated on the gene marker that codes Manganese Superoxide Dismutatase (MnSOD), which is an important enzyme that acts as an antioxidant in human cells.
This gene is passed on to an offspring in 3 ways; VV, AA or VA. Men with the AA genotype are more sensitive to MnSOD and are at higher risk in getting prostate cancer particularly when their antioxidant level is low. VA and VV men were at equal risk in developing prostate cancer regardless of their blood antioxidant levels.
Aside from MnSod, the researchers also studied the effects of lycopene and Vitamin E to the subjects. They obtained the same result.
Implication of the Study
According to Dr. Li, their study supports the idea of increasing one’s dietary intake of antioxidants. Antioxidants can be acquired from tomato based products, supplements and other food products fortified with Vitamin E and selenium.
Similar studies are also done linking antioxidant levels and breast cancer risk.