Comprehensive, Alternative and Complementary Therapies (PDQ®) -Version for Patients - National Cancer Institute

Antioxidants and cancer prevention Antioxidants are substances that can protect cells against damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can cause cancer. Examples of antioxidants are beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E and A and other substances.

There is some concern about whether antioxidants could make chemo and radiotherapy less effective.

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Since it has long been believed that tea has health benefits and many believe it can help decrease the risk of cancer. Tea contains polyphenol compounds such as catechins that are antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Some studies indicate that green tea may have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that green tea could protect against various types of cancer.

High doses of vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a nutrient that humans must get from food or supplements since the body can not make it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative stress. It also works with enzymes playing an important role in the production of collagen. Vitamin C, in high doses, has been studied in the treatment of cancer patients.

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However , the chances are that if you had optimal levels of vitamin D you probably would not have got infected in the first place. It would have been particularly effective if you had not taken vitamin D regularly and had not had frequent exposure to the sun.