Effect of Multiple Dietary Antioxidants

A mixture of dietary antioxidants is more effective in reducing the growth of cancer cells than the individual antioxidants. A mixture of retinoic acid, a-TS, vitamin C, and polar carotenoids produced approximately 50 % growth inhibition in human melanoma cells in culture at doses which produced no significant effect on growth when used individually (Table 11.3). Doubling the dose of vitamin C in the mixture caused a dramatic enhancement of growth inhibition. Similar observations were made on human parotid carcinoma cells in culture (16). A reduction of 50 % in the dose of each micronutrient in a mixture did not affect the growth of human melanoma cells in culture. Each of the dietary antioxidants has different modes of

Table 11.3 Effect of a mixture of four antioxidant micronutrients on growth of human melanoma cells in culture


Cell number (% of controls)

Vitamin C (50 ^g/mL)

102 ± 5a

PC (10 ^g/mL)

96 ± 2

a-TS (10 ^g/mL)

102 ± 3

RA (7.5 ^g/mL)

103 ± 3

Vitamin C (50 yg/mL) + PC (10 |ig/mL) + a-TS (10 yg/mL) + RA (7.5 yg/mL)

56 ± 3

Vitamin C (100 yg/mL)

64 ± 3

Vitamin C (100 ^g/mL) + PC (10 ^g/mL) + a-TS (10 ^g/mL) + RA (7.5 yg/mL)

13 ± 1

Data were summarized from a previous publication (17). a, standard error of the mean; a-TS, a-tocopheryl succinate; PC, polar carotenoids, originally referred to as p-carotene (30); RA, 13-cis-retinoic acid; vitamin C, sodium ascorbate.

action and therefore, it is essential that multiple dietary antioxidants are used in combination with radiation therapy.

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