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Antioxidants May Be VERY Harmful

Antioxidants May Be VERY Harmful

February 27, 2013 In the News

In 1953, Watson and Crick described the double helix and DNA. Zosia Chustecka (2012) reports that the new (see Watson, 2013) hypothesis from Nobel laureate James Watson, PhD (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York) essentially states that antioxidants in cancer cells are a problem and may be responsible for the difficulty in treating many cancers. Chusteka reports that Watson’s new theory "destroys any reason for taking antioxidative nutritional supplements," as they more than likely cause—rather than prevent—cancer. Chustecka reports that Watson regards this theory as being "among my most important work since the double helix."

The majority of therapies used to kill cancer cells work by generating reactive oxygen species to block key steps in the cancer cell cycle. However, mesenchymal (connective tissue, derived from mesoderm) cancers inevitably possess grossly heightened amounts of antioxidants that block cancer therapies.  

Of note, the anti-diabetic drug "metformin" has been demonstrated to preferentially kill mesenchymal stem cells in mouse models and additional clinical trials are underway.

Chustecka notes that if Watson is correct, perhaps drugs that lower antioxidants within cancer cells may be therapeutic and Watson is quoted "…the time has come to seriously ask whether antioxidant use more likely causes than prevents cancer…" and "…blueberries best be eaten because they taste good, not because their consumption will lead to less cancer…."

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Chustecka  Z. (2012) Novel Cancer Hypothesis Suggests Antioxidants Are Harmful.

Watson J. (2013) Oxidants, Antioxidants, and the Current Incurability of Metastatic Cancers. Open Biology January 8, 2013.

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