There's a catch


ANTIOXIDANTS such as vitamins A and E are often touted as cure-alls for disease and ageing, but researchers in the US believe they may reduce the body’s ability to fight cancer. Most anticancer drugs work against tumours by inducing programmed cell death, or apoptosis. This relies on oxidants acting as signalling molecules, so Rudolph Salganik and his colleagues at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill wondered how mopping up oxidants would affect cancers. He took a strain of mice that develops brain tumours and fed one group a normal diet and the other a diet that lacked vitamins A and E. The mice that ate the vitamin-free diet had tumours that were half the normal size. However, Salganik warns against jumping to conclusions. “We have to be careful,
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