Study shows that antioxidants may reduce lung cancer risk

March 8, 2017 by Gisèle Bolduc

An epidemiological study published in Frontiers in Oncology suggests that a diet high in carotenoids and vitamin C may protect against lung cancer. The study authors found that vitamin C appears to reduce the risk of lung cancer in heavy smokers while beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene play the same role in male heavy smokers.

Some of these antioxidants were also associated with a lower lung cancer risk in female moderate smokers and nonsmokers. "Our results suggest that vitamin C protects against lung cancer in women who have never smoked, something that to our knowledge has not been reported previously," stated postgraduate fellow Martine Shareck, lead author of the study.

Data from a case-control study of lung cancer was used in the investigation, one of the few to examine the role of antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin C by intensity. It is the first study to consider both smoking duration and time since quitting, two key smoking history factors for lung cancer.

"For the three most common tumour subtypes, we observed that high intakes of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and vitamin C were associated with a reduced risk of , while high intakes of beta-carotene and alpha-carotene lowered the risk of adenocarcinoma," explained professor and study co-author Marie-Élise Parent of the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre. "Both medium and high intakes of beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene reduced the risk of small cell carcinoma."

Cigarette smoking is the foremost risk factor for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Yet diet can influence the occurrence of this cancer. In light of the study results, the authors conclude it is desirable to promote consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids and vitamin C to reduce risk in nonsmokers and smokers, including .

Explore further: Vitamin E may prevent pneumonia in nonsmoking elderly men

More information: Martine Shareck et al, Inverse Association between Dietary Intake of Selected Carotenoids and Vitamin C and Risk of Lung Cancer, Frontiers in Oncology (2017). DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2017.00023

Related Stories

Diabetes proves deadly for smokers

November 22, 2016

While it is well known that smoking causes lung cancer, heavy smokers with diabetes are also at increased risk of death from causes other than lung cancer, according to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting ...

Recommended for you

Ancient stress response provides clues to cancer resistance

April 25, 2017

Cancer is often able to craftily outwit the best techniques modern medicine has developed to treat it. In an attempt to understand and combat cancer's vaunted prowess, an unusual collaboration between physicists and a leading ...

Studying a catalyst for blood cancers

April 25, 2017

Imagine this scenario on a highway: A driver starts to make a sudden lane change but realizes his mistake and quickly veers back, too late. Other motorists have already reacted and, in some cases, collide. Meanwhile, the ...

Savior of T-cells may be enemy of liver immune cells

April 24, 2017

Researchers at Houston Methodist demonstrated that a surface protein called OX40, responsible for keeping one type of immune system cell alive, can trigger the death of liver immune cells, in turn starting a chain reaction ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.