Carotenoids Reduce the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

By Kyle J. Norton

The pancreas is an oblong flattened gland in the digestive and endocrine system located in the abdomen. By secreting pancreatic juice to the small intestine, pancreas aids the digestive system to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.

Traditional Chinese medicine suggested that pancreas is a vital organ responsible for the absorption of foods’ qi and nutrients before passing them to other organs to nourish our body.

Pancreatic cancer is a chronic condition of a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas. In other words, pancreatic cancer occurs when the cells DNA in the tissues of the pancreas are altered, leading to abnormal cell growth.
Most cases of pancreatic cancers start in the cells on the surface of the inner lining of the ducts (an exocrine component of the pancreas) that carry pancreatic juices originated in glandular tissue accounts for over 75 – 90% of all cases of exocrine cancers.
The causes of pancreatic cancer are not identified. However, researchers do know certain risk factors can increase the risk of the condition including
* Age
The risk of the disease increases with age. It may be caused by wear and tear or due to a diet which has stressed out of the organ.
* Gender
Men are at higher risk than women to develop pancreatic cancer due to more men are smokers and heavy drinkers
* Foods contamination with a chemical agent
As a result of contamination of food qi absorbed by the pancreas during digestion (TCM)
No one knew how cigarette carcinogens trigger pancreatic cancer but there is a link.
* Alcohol
Researchers suggested that pancreatic cancer may be a predisposed of chronic pancreatitis due to excessive alcohol drinking.
*  Family history
Studies showed that 5–10% of pancreatic cancer patients have a family history of pancreatic cancer.
* The Western diet
Diet high in fat, sugar, artificial sweeteners, low veggies, and fruits are at risk to develop pancreatic cancer.
* Diabetes
The onset of diabetes is the early sign of the disease.
*  Obesity
Obesity is one of the major cause of diabetes.
* Smoking
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking increases the risks of pancreatic cancer.
Believe it or not, most people with some of the aforementioned symptoms have never developed pancreatic cancer.
Carotenoids is a class of mainly yellow, orange, or red fat-soluble pigments, including lycopene and carotene, found abundantly in ripe tomato, pumpkins, carrots, corn, and daffodils.

On finding a potential compound for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer, researchers examined the protective effect of several antioxidants and other nutrients including carotenoids on pancreatic cancer risk.

The study included 446 incidences of pancreatic cancer cases matched with 446 controls by age at blood collection, study center, sex, date and time of blood collection, fasting status and hormone use.

In chemical analysis of the effect of carotenoids, researchers found that

* Plasma β-carotene showed an inverse association with pancreatic cancer risk with relative odd ratio risk of highest vs. lowest quartile of 0.52.

* The relative odds ratio risk of highest vs. lowest quartile of Zeaxanthin was 0.52.

* The relative odds ratio risk of the highest vs. lowest quartile of α-tocopherol was 0.62.

More interestingly, in geographical analysis, the serum of α- and β-carotene, lutein, the sum of carotenoids and γ-tocopherol was vary depending on the region and location of the people live.

Based on the findings, researchers said, ” our results show that higher plasma concentrations of β-carotene, zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol may be inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer, but further studies are warranted”.

These results strongly suggested that all compounds found in carotenoids work synergistically to enhance the bioactive phytochemical anti-pancreatic cancer property.

Taken altogether, carotenoids may be considered a remedy for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of carotenoids in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.


(1) Plasma carotenoids, vitamin C, retinol and tocopherols levels and pancreatic cancer risk within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition: a nested case-control study: plasma micronutrients and pancreatic cancer risk by Jeurnink SM1, Ros MM, Leenders M, van Duijnhoven FJ, Siersema PD, Jansen EH, van Gils CH, Bakker MF, Overvad K, Roswall N, Tjønneland A, Boutron-Ruault MC, Racine A, Cadeau C, Grote V, Kaaks R, Aleksandrova K, Boeing H, Trichopoulou A, Benetou V, Valanou E, Palli D, Krogh V, Vineis P, Tumino R, Mattiello A, Weiderpass E, Skeie G, Castaño JM, Duell EJ, Barricarte A, Molina-Montes E, Argüelles M, Dorronsoro M, Johansen D, Lindkvist B, Sund M, Crowe FL, Khaw KT, Jenab M, Fedirko V, Riboli E, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB. (PubMed)