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Antioxidant therapies to control oxidative damage have already attracted worldwide attention in recent years. Extensive studies on phytochemicals in cell culture system and animal models have provided a wealth of information on the mechanism by which such nutraceuticals show their beneficial effect. Nutraceuticals include plant-derived factors (phytochemicals) and factors derived from animal sources as well as from microbial sources. The activities of nutraceuticals are broad and include antioxidation, modulation of enzyme activity and modification of natural hormonal activity (agonist or antagonist) to act as a precursor for one or more beneficial molecules. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage. Antioxidant consumption during radiotherapy and its effects are still controversial. Some studies suggest that antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be beneficial and some, harmful. Wheat grass is rich in superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme. Radiotherapy causes tumour cell kill via activation of reactive oxygen species, specifically by the hydroxyl radical and needs the reactive species for effective tumour control. Wheat grass which is rich in free radical scavengers can interfere with reactive oxygen species generated by radiation for tumour cell kill and can be detrimental to the therapy per se.
To hypothesise if the antioxidant properties of wheat grass could influence tumour activity, the effects of radiation therapy on tumour cells can be nullified when wheat grass is taken during radiotherapy.
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