Many people know that vitamins and some herbs can help fight cancer, but some minerals help prevent cancer as well. Here are some cancer-fighting minerals.
Copper is a trace mineral. Though it’s known for strengthening the blood vessels, tendons, nerves and bones and promoting blood clotting, some health experts believe that it might be an antioxidant. This means copper protects the body against cell-damaging free radicals, which will help prevent cancer. Most people get enough copper in their diet and copper supplements may be hard to find. It’s usually found in combination with zinc, which is ironic, as zinc can make it difficult for the body to absorb copper. If a person is taking zinc supplements, they should take some extra copper.
An even more powerful cancer-fighting mineral is selenium. This is a trace mineral that’s found in the soil. It’s also found in many organs of the body, including the liver, the spleen, the kidneys and the pancreas. It’s an antioxidant and part of an antioxidant enzyme that guards against cells being damaged by toxins in the diet. In studies, people who took about 200 mcg of selenium a day had far less prostate, colorectal and lung cancers. The mineral also seemed to prevent cancers of the ovaries, cervix, bladder, esophagus, pancreas, liver and rectum. It also seemed very promising against leukemia. Some people believe this is because selenium helps cells grow and die at normal rates, which means that the cells die before they have a chance to become malignant.
People with low selenium levels had more tumors, had cancer that recurred more often and had cancers that had a greater chance of metastasizing. Selenium is best used in an antioxidant cocktail that might contain Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and other antioxidants.
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