free_radical_part_1-960x642Free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes. However, at high concentrations, they can be dangerous for the body since they can damage all major components of cells such as cell membranes, proteins and even DNA. These damages may eventually lead to the development of cancer and other health conditions.

So what can antioxidants do? These chemicals can interact with and neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing damage. Because of this trait, antioxidants are also called “free radical scavengers”. The body is capable of making some of the antioxidants it utilizes to neutralize free radicals and they are called endogenous antioxidants. But, the body still needs the exogenous or dietary antioxidants, which are the antioxidants it is incapable of producing. Examples of such antioxidants are beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamins A, C and E. Though selenium is not an antioxidant itself but it is an essential component in some proteins that exhibit the antioxidant property.

selenium_istock-585x318Selenium. Examples of selenium-containing amino acids are selenocysteine and selenomethionine which act as direct antioxidants and even as a source of selenium for synthesis of selenium-dependent antioxidant and DNA repair protein. According to Dr. Schachter, selenium is a crucial mineral in the battle against prostate cancer. In one study, hundreds of men were provided with 200 micrograms of selenium daily which resulted in the decrease of the incidences of prostate cancer by 60 percent. Although more studies need to be done to corroborate these results, selenium is relatively safe and inexpensive. Dr. Schachter’s prostate cancer patients take 400 to 600 micrograms of selenium daily – a large, therapeutic dose that requires the approval and supervision of a doctor.

64a53cd30f9c384e978f3d0a6c7b9788-1647589380-1301713999-4d96944f-620x348Vitamins C and E. These vitamins are both antioxidants that help destroy cancer-causing free radicals. While vitamin E is fat soluble and can only act outside or in the fatty layer of each cell membrane, vitamin C is water soluble and can protect against oxidation in the watery areas such as the blood and inside cells. They can be considered partners since vitamin C also helps recycle vitamin E to keep it actively fighting free radicals. 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C taken three times a day and 400 to 800 international units – a unit of measurement used to measure fat soluble vitamins – is beneficial for prostate cancer patients. Additionally, besides being useful against prostate cancer, vitamin C’s protective effect has been shown for the cancers of the esophagus, larynx, mouth, pancreas, stomach, colon and breast.

zincpicolinate_sZinc picolinate. Patrick Quillin, R.D., Ph.D., director of nutrition for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma says,” With their physicians’ approval and supervision, prostate cancer patients should consider taking daily supplement of 30 to 50 milligrams of zinc pollinate, the most absorbable form of the mineral.” In normal conditions, the prostate gland and the semen should contain high amounts of zinc and additional amounts help the organ battle cancer cells and heal.

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