Micronutrients, vitamins, and cancer risk
Sommaire de l'article
There is now considerable evidence that a high intake of fruit and vegetables can decrease the risk of developing cancer. While it is by no means clear how this particular diet alters cancer risk, there is substantial metabolic and experimental evidence to implicate antioxidant micronutrients, The dietary components include some vitamins, such as C and E, the carotenoids, and the flavinoids. In chemical systems, cell culture, and experimental animals, these components have the ability to quench the carcinogenic potential of reactive oxygen species and other carcinogens, such as N-nitrosocompounds. Some of these micronutrients can act synergistically, and high concentrations are often found in tissues, such as the leucocytes and mucosal cells, that are particularly prone to reactive species attack. Experimental systems containing these micronutrients also appear to be able to reduce DNA damage and mutagenesis. However, assessment of individual vitamin intake, as opposed to fruit and vegetable consumption, does not increase the protective association of these components, and the results of intervention studies in man, especially with carotenoids, have been disappointing. We await the results of other clinical trials, but as yet, there is insufficient evidence to recommend supplements of these particular micronutrients for the prevention of cancer. However, it would be prudent to suggest changes in diet that would increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, such as a diet is clearly associated with protection.