Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Dark Side of Anti-Oxidants

I read this article this morning on the dark side of anti-oxidants and was very surprised. I have heard all the benefits of anti-oxidants and why it is important to eat them as part of a healthy diet. Some medications are made with antioxidants. Many people rush out and get fresh fruit and vegetables specifically for their antioxidants and benefits.

"There is no question that antioxidants, such as those in fruits and vegetables and other foods, neutralize molecules called free radicals that can damage DNA. That has led to assertions that antioxidants can prevent cancer, since DNA damage can turn normal cells into malignant ones. But studies of whether antioxidant supplements (pills, not foods) can prevent cancer have largely disappointed."

So that last sentence tells us something. A hint that maybe anti-oxidants aren't quite as good as previously thought.

"Because free radicals might also attack cancer cells, scientists are studying whether antioxidants might allow tumors to flourish. The new research, in Science Translational Medicine, found that they can. When scientists exposed lab dishes of human cancer cells (liver, breast, colon, ovarian) to the diabetes drugs sitagliptin (sold by Merck as Januvia) and saxagliptin (AstraZeneca’s Onglyza), the cells migrated more. And when nine mice with human tumors were given either of the drugs, the cells metastasized more and invaded far-flung tissue...."

Did you read that right? Yes you did! The previously thought wonderful anti-oxidants appear to help metastasize cancer! So if you have cancer, your cancer will spread faster with help from the anti-oxidants. Nice! They are off my diet for now.

But the writers add that they did not cause cancer, just that they helped it spread. And this is a mouse test which means that it may not be the same for humans. And more research is needed.

So I am not jumping to any conclusions here. I know its only a mouse test but these results do not make me happy. 

No comments: