It’s stated that many vegetables contain “anti-cancer” or cancer fighting compounds. How exactly do these compounds work to prevent cancerous cells from forming?

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It’s stated that many vegetables contain “anti-cancer” or cancer fighting compounds. How exactly do these compounds work to prevent cancerous cells from forming?

In: Biology

Most of the “cancer fighting compounds” (and take that with a grain of salt) are antioxidants – they basically prevent chemical damage to cells and more importantly DNA that can cause mutations and subsequently cancer.

First off, I want to mention that oxygen naturally reacts with compounds in the body and make them more reactive. As such, they can react with all the other cell components, such as DNA, and damage them. DNA damage leads to cancer.

Vegetables contain what are called ‘anti-oxidants’ which are compounds that quench and/or sequester the reactive oxygen compounds. They prevent cell damage and therefore, they can prevent cancer formation.