Antioxidants may reduce risk of breast cancer

Antioxidants may reduce risk of breast cancer

As our bodies undergo the trials of daily life, they experience something called oxidative stress, which cause cell damage that can eventually lead to cancer. Antioxidants, as their name might suggest, are chemical compounds that help to repair this oxidative damage and keep cells functioning the way they should be. 

A recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that high levels of antioxidants in the bloodstream may be a factor in reducing breast cancer risk. The researchers looked at data from 3,209 women over the age of 55 who were already involved in the Rotterdam Study, a Dutch population-based cohort study. They found that elderly women and those who smoke benefit the most from the effects of antioxidants.

For example, smokers with low levels of alpha carotene had a 148 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer, and those with low beta carotene levels had 131 percent as much risk compared to smokers with high levels of these antioxidants.

Women aged 70 and up also saw some of the greatest protective effect from antioxidants, with low intake of flavonoids increasing their breast cancer risk by 80 percent. 

The researchers suggest increasing intake of leafy greens and orange vegetables to ensure proper antioxidant levels.

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