Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, and Cancer


• Essential
• Perform specific functions in the body
• Precursor: converted into an active vitamin in the body
• Fat-Soluble vitamins
o Vitamin A
o Vitamin D
o Vitamin E
o Vitamin K
• Water-Soluble Vitamins
o B vitamins
o Vitamin C

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

• Stored extensively in tissue
• Higher risk for toxicity

Water-Soluble Vitamins

• Easily absorbed and excreted
• Not stored extensively in tissue (except B12)


Essential Minerals


Charged Minerals

• Can combine with minerals of the opposite charge
• Electrical power for muscle contraction and nerve reaction
• Help maintain fluid and acid/base balance
• Initiate enzyme activity


Free Radical

• Atom that has lost an electron
• Produced by: everyday metabolism and toxic substances
• Play a role in
o Heart Disease
o Cancer
o Emphysema
o Bronchitis
o Premature aging

Antioxidant Vitamins

• Donate electrons to stabilize free radicals
• Vitamin A and Beta-carotene
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Others


• Plant chemicals that contain disease-preventing compounds
• Not yet classified as nutrients
• >2000 have been identified
• >100 in one serving of vegetables


• Lycopene, Anthocyanins
• Maintain heart health
• Maintain memory function
• Lower risk of some cancers
• Maintain urinary tract health


• Vitamin C, Carotenoids, Bioflavonoids
• Maintain heart health
• Maintain vision health
• Maintain a healthy immune system
• Lower risk of some cancers


• Allyl Sulfides
• Maintain heart health
• Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
• Lower risk of some cancers


• Lutein, Indoles
• Lower risk of some cancers
• Maintain vision health
• Maintain strong bones and teeth


• Anthocyanins, Phenolics
• Lower risk of some cancers
• Maintain urinary tract health
• Maintain memory function
• Anti-aging


• Soy Beans, the “Miracle Bean”
o Isoflavones, Saponins
o Decreased risk for heart disease
o Decreased risk for cancer
o May help prevent osteoporosis and reduce symptoms of menopause

• Green tea
o Flavonoids
o Suppress cancer advancement
o Lower LDL and increase HDL cholesterol

Supplements and Extracts

• “No evidence that individual phytochemicals extracted from food benefit health”
• “No evidence that vegetable extracts benefit health”

Nutrition and Cancer


• Abnormal cells grow out of control
• Second leading cause of death in U.S.

Cancer Development

• Initiation – alternation of DNA
• Promotion – increased number of abnormal cells
• Progression – uncontrolled growth

Fighting Cancer Through Diet

• Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
• Eat a varied diet
• Increase fruits and vegetables
• Eat more high fiber foods
• Decrease total fat intake
• Limit consumption of alcohol
• Limit consumption of salt-cured, smoked, pickled, and nitrite-preserved foods

Cancer Treatment

“Unorthodox cures should not substitute for conventional treatments”

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