Antioxidant compounds are thought to prevent and treat diseases, especially cancer, under any circumstances. For this purpose, nature-based antioxidants nowadays are being commonly used to prevent and treat diseases. Indeed, phenolic compounds found in medicinal plants have opened a new horizon to prevent and treat diseases because of having antioxidant properties. However, some recent studies have reported that antioxidants are not absolute anticancer compounds and certain drugs have been reported to reduce levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cancer cells, i.e., their main action mechanism. It has been argued that increasing levels of ROS cause an increase in apoptosis rate and therefore can be considered an approach to treat fatal and hard-to-treat cancers. This chapter seeks to partly explain the role of ROS in progression or inhibition of cancer growth in addition to the role of antioxidants in preventing and treating this disease.
Part of the book: Antioxidants