Antioxidants May Slash Female Cancer Risk
Increased intakes of the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene derived from food sources may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, which forms in the tissue lining of the uterus. It is the 5th most common cancer among women worldwide.
In 2009, there were 42,000 new cases of endometrial cancer in the United States and almost 8,000 deaths.
Researchers from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey conducted systematic literature review and meta-analysis of 12 case-controlled studies. The results of the review were published in the June 2009 issue of the journal Cancer Causes Control.
The researchers observed a 15% reduction in endometrial cancer for every 50 milligram increase of vitamin C per 1,000 calories. For every 5 milligram increase of vitamin E per 1,000 calories the risk of endometrial cancer was reduced by 9%.
With regards to beta-carotene, there was a 12% reduction in the risk of endometrial cancer for every 1,000 microgram increase of beta-carotene per 1,000 calories.
The researchers note that additional studies are needed, particularly cohort studies, to confirm the findings of this review.
A number of previous studies have linked increased intakes of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables to reduced risks of a large number of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
These compounds decrease oxidation processes in the body by neutralizing destructive free radicals. It is believed that this limits oxidative damage to DNA.
One of the best ways to increase your antioxidant intake is by eating more colorful fruits and vegetables (high in vitamin A and carotenoids) as well as nuts, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables (high in vitamin E).