Dual Offer + FREE Dr Advice | WhatsApp Prescription | Book Home Visit ✆ 09220145540

Menu Icon

Vitamins And Cancer Any Correlation?

Vitamins And Cancer Any Correlation?

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2022-03-24

It is not often that one thinks about how the food we eat (or don't eat) can impact the development of cancer in our body. Exposure to carcinogens found in the environment or food as well as radiation and some infections are known causes of Cancer. Yet, what we intake as nutrients also have roles to play in prevention, or promotion, of cancer.

Vitamins And Cancer Any Correlation?

In addition to the traditionally known functions played by vitamin, such as assisting synthesis of DNA and RNA, metabolism of macronutrients, synthesis of blood cells, and strengthening bones, some vitamins are also antioxidants and may contribute to preventing oxidative damage to genetic material by salvaging reactive oxygen species. Diets replete with fruits and vegetables have consistently been shown to be associated with reduced risk of cancer.

On the other hand, the excessive intake of vitamins is also linked to increased risk of cancer, and hence unsupervised supplementation that may lead to vitamin overdose is not advised. There is a rise in the consumption of multivitamins, with the belief that these can assist in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer.

Cancer is a mass of cells that arises from the uncontrolled proliferation of cells, without differentiating in different lineages. Initiating as benign tumors, these abnormal cells undergo further modifications that allow them to metastasize, as malignant cells and indicate the development of cancer. Inhibition of cancer is possible at three stages, preventing the formation of carcinogens, preventing these from reaching their target sites, and inhibition of cancer after it has initiated. Some of the mechanisms by which this can be achieved are are formed during tumour promotion and, inhibition of the stages in arachidonic acid metabolism cascade for prevention of tumor progression. Thus, the identification of the compound present in foods that can inhibit carcinogenesis after exposure to a cancer causing agent is very important.

Anticancer properties of Vitamins
Some of the vitamins that have been studied for their link with cancer are as follows:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A and its derivatives carry out a large range of functions, including, influencing embryonic development, as well as cellular growth, differentiation and apoptosis. An inverse relationship has been foun between intake of vitamin A and cancer development Green and yellow vegetables that contain carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, as well as foods like whole milk and liver contain vitamin A. Increased intake of this vitamin protects against the action of UV light-induced carcinogenesis. Retinoids exert anticancer properties through their anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic and antioxidant effects. They are observed to reverse human epithelial lesions, while inducing the differentiation of myeloid cells, as well as prevent cancers of the lung, liver and breast. Retinoids are also considered effective for prevention of head and neck cancers. Precancerous lesions such as leukoplakia, actinic keratosis and cervical dysplasia can be treated with retinoids.

These compounds also delay the development of skin cancer in those individuals who suffer from xeroderma pigmentosum, wherein, the person is at increased risk for UV-induced cancer. Many types of retinoids, by themselves or in conjunction with interferons and esterogen antagonist are shown to treat breast cancer and can even prevent it. This is especially so during the initial stages of cancer progression, but the effect begins to reduce as the cancer becomes more aggressive.

2. Vitamin C
Frequent consumption of vitamin C is associated with reduced risk of esophageal and stomach cancers. As per recent studies, vitamin C enters the cancer cells almost immediately after it is exposed and acts as a cytotoxic agent. Oxidation of vitamin C produces substances that have antitumor activity through the production of molecular species such as hydrogen peroxide and some aldehydes, as well as promotes lipid peroxidation whose secondary products have inhibitory action on malignant cell proliferation. Vitamin C also promotes collagen synthesis which strengthens the natural barrier for preventing infiltration and metastatic spread of the cancer. Inhibition of tumor growth by vitamin C is also achieved through enhancement of immune system against cancer by vitamin C.

3. Vitamin K
A fat-soluble vitamin, this molecule has inhibitory effect on cancer cells through oxidative stress in several cell lines. Vitamin K2 has been shown to have anti-cancer properties against many cancer cell lines, including those of liver, lungs, colorectum, stomach and breast. In fact, dietary levels of vitamin K are associated inversely with advanced prostate cancer.

Vitamin K2 has also been reported to have inhibitory activity on hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines by suppressing cellular division. It also has the ability to induce apoptosis in certain cancer cells, an ability that is associated with the p53 status in these cells.

Cell death is observed to be induced in cancer cells by vitamin K3 in combination with vitamin C through oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, calcium regulation and modification of ATP levels. This has been extensively studied in bladder cancer cell lines.

4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D includes vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol), and is a known anticancer micronutrient which acts through the regulation of different genes by vitamin D receptor. The mode of action of this vitamin against cancer ranges from inhibition of cell cycle progression and tumor growth by preventing cellular proliferation to induction of apoptosis and acting on cellular adhesion molecules and growth factors that are involved in tumorigenesis.

The development of vasculature to provide nutritional support to the rapidly dividing cells is one of the hallmarks of a progressing cancer. Vitamin D3 is known to inhibit angiogenesis in several cancer cell lines. Vitamin D also promotes antioxidant activity, as oxidative damage to cellular genetic material is also commonly seen in cancer cells and promotes development of mutations that give the cancer cells a selective advantage over others.

Autophagy is a process which allows a cell to survive in stress conditions like oxygen and nutrient deprivation. It is important for preventing progression of tumors in vivo and is regulated by vitamin D. When cancers in the early stages are treated with vitamin D, cellular transformation induces autophagy, as a result of which the damaged chromosome! and organelle debris are cleared. Later, proteins like p53 initiate cellular repair processes if the cell is still in the initial phases of cancer development, or otherwise, trigger cellular death.

Vitamin E
A major fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E may prevent cancer by decreasing the formation of mutagens that arise due to oxidation of lipids, as well as reducing the oxidative stress in the epithelial cells. This antioxidant vitamin also modulates apoptosis, cell cycle and transcriptional events.

Over-intake of vitamins also linked to cancer?
There have been studies that implicate high doses of certain vitamins in association with cancer, especially when toxicity occurs in the presence of other risk factors for cancer. For instance, as per some studies, high doses of vitamin C in the presence of arsenic trioxide has been linked to serious side effects and disease progression in Acute Myeloid Leukemia, refractory metastatic colon cancer, as well as metastatic melanoma. Further, high dosage of vitamin C taken along with some chemotherapeutic drugs can also increase the toxicity. Yet other studies have shown that the use of multivitamins is over-hyped and that it confers no known benefit with respect to preventing chronic disorders in healthy individuals. Also, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research have ruled against using dietary supplements for preventing cancer.

Certain studies have indicated that while the consumption of multivitamins is associated with decreased risk of some cancers like those of the colon and bladder, it may also lead to higher chances of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Thus, in long term, use of multivitamins may slightly increase the risk of cancer but do not cause any major harm on short term.

The possible effects, beneficial or harmful, of vitamins with respect to cancer are still under investigation. However, other benefits of vitamins are well known, as their deficiencies are linked with serious consequences. Further, the possible harms also arise due to over-intake of these micronutrients. Hence, within the dietary recommended values, the intake of vitamins is beneficial for overall health. The best way is to consume them from naturally grown fruits and vegetables rather than resorting to supplements unless a doctor has prescribed them. Within limits, vitamins will play wonders for your health!


View Our Editorial Policy
Was this article helpful?

Trending Health & Fitness Web Stories

Find Latest Health Web Stories, Fitness Photo Stories, Health AMP Stories.VIEW ALL

Did you catch our latest post? JOIN US

Facebook LinkedIn Instagram Twitter YouTube

Contact Us

Email: info@healthcareontime.com | Phone No: 09220145540 | Whatsapp: 9820693367
  • Copyright 2024 HealthCareOnTime.com, All Rights Reserved
  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
DMCA.com Protection Status HealthCareOnTime.com Protection Status HealthCareOnTime.com Protection Status