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New study shows antioxidants could speed up cancer progression

If you've been diagnosed or at risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer, you may want to stay away from antioxidants. A new study reported yesterday on the MSN website shows that smokers and other people at high risk for lung cancer could make matters worse if they take antioxidant supplements.

According to the MSN Healthy Living website, a new study of rodents suggests that antioxidants such as vitamin E could accelerate cancer progression by short-circuiting one of the body's key immune responses to malignant cells. Another one of those antioxidants that could do this is the supplement acetylcysteine. Dr. Martin Bergo, senior author of the study and co-director of the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center at the University of Gothenburg, said these findings are concerning because this supplement is used to improve breathing in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Antioxidants are supposed to protect the body from disease by preventing cell damage caused by molecules called free radicals. "These radicals can damage almost anything inside the cell, including DNA, and DNA damage can lead to cancer," he says. For more information on this interesting story as it develops, visit

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