Each year, over 61,000 Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer, leading to 13,000 deaths. Men are about three times more likely to develop the disease than women, and up to 90% of those affected are over the age of 55. But continuing research suggests that simply by incorporating the right vitamins and minerals into your daily regimen, you may be able to stave off this deadly disease. Keep reading to find out which ones are the “right” ones.
As with most cancers, the exact cause of bladder cancer isn’t known. There are certain risk factors for developing bladder cancer. These include:
Protecting Yourself from Bladder Cancer
- Occupation – workers in industries such as rubber, chemical, and leather are at higher risk, as are hairdressers, machinists, metal workers, printers, painters, textile workers, and truck drivers. This is because of chemicals that surround them in the workplace.
- Infections – people who have experienced frequent bladder infections are more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who have not had these types of infections.
There’s nothing you can do about getting older, but there are preventative steps you can take to lower your risk of developing bladder cancer.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is an important part of leading a healthy life. Antioxidants help the body defend itself from the oxidation process, a naturally occurring process. Oxidants are fee radicals that damage living cells and tissues. The body is exposed to many sources of oxidants from environmental stressors such as smoking, alcohol, domestic chemicals like pesticides and air fresheners, and strong sunlight. As you can see, it’s impossible to avoid these stressors, which makes it all the more vital to do what you can to protect yourself from them.
The best way to ensure you’re consuming high percentages of antioxidants is by eating a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that help protect the body from disease. The more colorful your plate, the more antioxidants you’ll be getting, as each color provides different nutrients.
Some of the most powerful antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, and E. Selenium and zinc are two minerals with strong antioxidant profiles.
Findings from a new study has shown that increased intake of Vitamin E may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by about 35%. The study also found that carotenoids, niacin, thiamine, and vitamin D may reduce the risk of bladder cancer in older people.
Higher average intakes of carotenoids, vitamin D, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin E were all associated with a reduced bladder cancer risk in older individuals.
The news for smokers is even better. The researchers found that the highest intakes of vitamin E, carotenoids, and niacin were associated with a 42, 38, and 34 percent reduction in bladder cancer risk in heavy smokers.
What these findings point to is that Vitamin E may provide the most benefit “under conditions of the greatest oxidative stress such as smoking and aging,” according to the researchers.Incorporating Vitamin E in Your Diet
There are a number of sources for getting more vitamin E in your diet: vegetable oils, almonds, and green leafy vegetables are the best sources. Vitamin E can also be found in fortified cereals.What it Means for You
While further studies need to be done to determine the optimal doses and combinations of these nutrients, it’s a good idea to increase your consumption of them in order to offer your body the most protection you can.