The Link Between Free Radicals and Cancer Explained

Jan 1, 2020

Our body works for us to function and heal, but there are times it may do more damage than good to us.

One minute we are sick, another minute we find ourselves with a debilitating condition like cancer. While genetics do play a strong role in the development of cancer, it won’t present itself in many cases without certain factors. 

The connection between free radicals and cancer development is one of these factors. 

Cancer strikes in a silent, deadly manner if you avoid learning essentials risk factors.

You can discover the relationship between the two in the next few minutes. Spoiler: there is good news you can do low this risk factor. 

What Are Free Radicals?

Free radicals can roam anywhere it desires in the body, but their presence at high levels is not a good thing. They are unstable byproducts that highly reactive. Their oxidative properties cause damage to cells and can alter their DNA.

Although they have a lifespan of just a few seconds, it’s more than enough to cause damage to the skin and internal organs.

Free radicals may show on the body as benign wrinkles, tumors, or hyperpigmentation. They are the main cause of aging, and too much exposure can accelerate the process. It can also show as more concerning conditions such as ulcers, inflammatory diseases, Alzheimer’s, emphysema, and cancer. 

What Are the Causes and Sources of Free Radicals?

After learning how damaging free radicals can be to the body, you may wonder how they are generated. For one, it is mainly produced as one of the metabolic processes within the body. Internally, free radicals are waste products from cellular activity. 

Like growing old, it is impossible to completely avoid free radicals. The problem is when you are disproportionally exposed to high levels. 

External exposure to radicals is something to be concerned about. If we are exposed to carcinogens in our environment, we increase the free radical levels within us. Common carcinogens are: 

  • Smoking Tobacco
  • Radon Exposure 
  • Certain Viruses
  • Medical Radiation
  • Ultraviolet Radiation (being in the sun with no sunscreen) 
  • Air pollution 
  • Occupational/Environmental chemicals like vinyl chloride or asbestos 

Whether free radicals are formed naturally or through a carcinogen, they cause the same damage. This injury is known as oxidative stress. 

The best way to explain this oxidative reaction is to compare it to fruits. If you slice an apple, for example, what becomes of it? It turns brown in color, right? This is similar to what happens to your cells.

Free Radicals and Cancer Explained

Free radicals are made by cells and if not disposed of properly, they can harm the genes within a cell.  

When the genes are attacked within the DNA of a cell it may produce ineffective proteins. This is dangerous because proteins are like the gatekeepers over cells that protect it. 

Normally the body is able to sort damaged cells using tumour suppressor genes. They are able to repair damages or completely remove cells that are beyond saving through apoptosisOncogenes are made to replace old cells with new ones and promote growth. 

In the event cells like tumour suppressor genes or oncogenes are no longer safeguarded, a series of abnormal mutations arise. If tumour suppressor genes allow injured cells to thrive, oncogenes will multiply the growth of these abnormal cells. These mutated cells in high numbers are what ultimately lead to cancer. 

Reducing Free Radicals

The best way to prevent high levels of free radicals is to offset or neutralize free radicals with antioxidants. Antioxidants are tiny molecules within cells that prevent free radicals from causing damage by keeping the cell stable.

It gives an electron to the free radical that would normally take it from the cell. The adverse chain reaction is stopped because the free radical is given what it desired. The more antioxidants we have, the safer we are from free radical damage. 

We can get the antioxidants we need primarily through phytochemicals in the foods we consume. Most antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables. Well known antioxidants include: 

  • Beta-carotene/other carotenoids 
  • Resveratrol
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene 
  • Green Tea
  • Anthocyanidins (found in berries) 

The body can produce its own source of antioxidants, but it’s an insignificant amount. We cannot make nearly enough to counter free radicals so eating a diet rich in antioxidants helps prevent issues like premature aging and cancer.

Using Supplements to Lower Free Radicals  

Most people do not consume enough of the right foods to get the antioxidants they need. Another great alternative is to use supplements like Fucoimmune that help lower free radical damage and boost the immune system. 

Fucoimmune contains antioxidants and helps support a health acid/base balance in the body. It is made to support the skin, wound health, connective tissue growth, and red blood cell production. These all work together to keep cells strong and prevent cancer or ease the symptoms. 

The most notable ingredient in Fucoimmune Fucodan, which are found in the cell wall of brown seaweed. It works to protect plants from pathogens and external threats that can benefit protecting our cells.

There are a number of evidence-based research finding that discuss its efficiency in aiding the immune system and preventing cancer. The anti-cancer element is able to balance oxidative stress and stem cell mobilization. 

Preventing Cancer and Fighting It

You, your family, your friends, and loved ones are the stars in your circle. If there is anything you can do to help yourself and others you care about, you will do it. A great way to display this affection is monitoring your health or their health when it is compromised or has the potential. 

Keeping the immune system strong us equally important when you hope to fight cancer or prevent it. 

If you understand the relationship free radicals and cancer have with each other, you are can improve your health and others. There is no single “fix” you should do to improve your health. 

Eating right, exercising, and reducing your exposure to free radicals are the main things you should implement. If you need more insight regarding free radicals and help to reduce it, please contact us. We will help answer your questions and provide solutions. 

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