The well accepted theory that antioxidants reduce the growth of cancer cells and defend against cell damage may be less factual than first thought. By no means should you stop consuming all the healthful foods that are abundant in antioxidants, this after all is just one of a few studies to this effect. However, more and more evidence seems to be materialising, this one in particular by Elizabeth et al. (2014) suggests the antioxidants such as beta- carotene may not act at the critical site in cells where the tumour promoting reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. It seems that the antioxidants we consume may in fact gather in random sites in the cell, in turn leaving ROS untouched.
The research is deep and starting to gather momentum, lets hope there is a consensus of opinion soon…a meta- analysis maybe!?
Elizabeth G. Phimister, Navdeep S. Chandel, David A. Tuveson. The Promise and Perils of Antioxidants for Cancer Patients. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 371 (2): 177 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcibr1405701
Science Daily, (2014). How antioxidants can accelerate cancers, and why they don't protect against them. Retrieved 10th July, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710094434.htm