If you've suffered damage to your esophagus -- the tube that leads from your mouth to your stomach -- you may be able to reverse that damage by ensuring you get enough of certain vitamins. Whether you eat foods that are rich in these vitamins or choose vitamin supplements, you can help your damaged esophagus heal. This can prevent the cells in your esophageal lining from changing in ways that lead to cancer.
Vitamin C can help prevent a condition called Barrett's Esophagus from progressing to esophageal cancer, reports the National Institutes of Health. In Barrett's Esophagus, the cells that line the esophagus become damaged from repeated exposure to stomach acids caused by heartburn, and in the process, they become prone to cancer. But patients with Barrett's Esophagus who get enough vitamin C from their diets are less likely to develop esophageal cancer than those with vitamin C deficiencies, the National Institutes of Health says. People who get plenty of vitamin C from the foods they eat can have up to a 50 percent reduced risk of developing esophageal cancer, which is often deadly, reports Cancer Consultants.com. The United States Department of Agriculture's recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90mg for adult men and 75mg for women.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that vitamin D may increase the body's production of a protein called 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase that suppresses esophageal cancer tumor growth. The United States Department of Agriculture's recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 5mcg for adults up to age 50 and 10mcg for adults 51 and older.
The antioxidant properties in vitamin E help prevent esophageal cancer, says Cancer Consultants.com, and vitamin E's power to do so increases when people make sure they get enough vitamin C along with the vitamin E they consume. The United States Department of Agriculture's recommended daily amount of vitamin E is 15mg for adults.
- National Institutes of Health: Plasma and Esophageal Mucosal Levels of Vitamin C: Role in the Pathogenesis and Neoplastic Progression of Barrett's Esophagus
- Cancer Consultants.com: Antioxidants May Decrease Risk of Developing Cancer of the Esophagus
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer: University Hospitals Studies Vitamin D as Way to Avert Esophageal Cancer
- United States Department of Agriculture: DRI Tables