You already know that tomatoes are good for you. But new research out of Great Britain shows they may have super-potent anti-cancer properties, with men who eat more than 10 servings a week of tomatoes far less likely to develop prostate cancer.
The findings — by researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford and published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention — are based on an analysis the diets and lifestyle habits of 1,806 prostate cancer survivors and 12,005 cancer-free men.
The study showed that men who eat 10 portions of tomatoes and products made with them had 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who did not.
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The research is the first study of its kind to show that men who eat a lot of such dietary components as the cancer-fighting element lycopene — abundant in tomatoes — as well as selenium and calcium are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage, noted lead researcher Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU.
“Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention,” Er noted. “However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and stay active.”
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