Oxyradicals are involved in multiple mutational events and can contribute to the conversion of healthy cells to cancer cells. Glutathione (GSH) and the GSH-replenishing enzymes keep the antioxidant status of normal cells at a level where they can avert oxyradical-derived mutations. When we talk about sulfur pathways and sulfur sufficiency we are at the same time touching on glutathione because glutathione is a sulfur enzyme.
Selenium compounds have been shown to have powerful anticarcinogenic activity. In view of certain similarities between selenium and sulfur biochemistry, scientists tested selenocystamine/ cysteamine, semethylselenocysteine/ S-methylcysteine and selenobetaine-sulfobetaine. In these sulfur compounds only cystamine and S-methylcysteine produced anticancer activity. These sulfur-selenium compounds are active in cancer protection and may have a multi-modal mechanism in preventing cellular transformation as well as in delaying or inhibiting the expression of malignancy after carcinogen exposure.
Garlic also contains selenium, which
is crucial for glutathione enzymes.
Glutathione, the most important antioxidant in the body, is that place where sulfur and selenium meet up to protect us from cancer. The immune system cannot function properly without it and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E rely on it to function properly within the body. The glutathione and cancer connection has been well established. Patients with cancer, serious chronic illness, AIDS and over 60 other diseases have reduced glutathione levels. Glutathione plays a specific role in the detoxification of many well known cancer-causing and cell-damaging substances in our environment.