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A. Mutate or Die

Narrator: This is Science Today. There's evidence that by eating foods like fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, you can prevent cancer. In the lab, Dr. Courtney Broaddus of the University of California, San Francisco gave antioxidants to lung cells that had been exposed to asbestos. Normally, they would have died, taking the asbestos with them. Antioxidants prevented that process, which wasn't necessarily a good thing.

Broaddus: Well, the cells that would have died that have ingested asbestos are now allowed to live, and presumably that asbestos could still he harmful.

Narrator: Asbestos causes cells to mutate by interfering with their DNA.

Broaddus: Although we have no evidence of this yet, we speculate that the cells that are allowed to survive that have asbestos in them may accumulate other types of genetic mutations and become abnormal as a result.

Narrator: Which, ironically, might lead to cancer. Broaddus suggests we avoid big doses of antioxidants and stick to fruits and vegetables, which seem to have the right balance of good stuff to prevent cancer, not cause it. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.