Italian food fans, rejoice. New research has found women who eat diets rich in tomatoes and products made from them face a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggests the responsible compound may be lycopene — an antioxidant found in tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables — that has also been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
The National Cancer Institute estimates American women have a 12.4 percent risk of developing breast cancer.
The new study, led by Adana Llanos of Rutgers University, found postmenopausal women may be able to reduce that risk by adopting a tomato-rich diet.
The findings are based on a comparison of 70 women who followed two diets for 10 weeks — one rich in tomatoes and the other heavy on soy products. The results showed women who followed the tomato-rich diet had a 9 percent increase in their levels of adiponectin — a hormone that plays a part in the regulation of fat and blood sugar levels, which can boost cancer risk.
Women who followed the soy-rich diet experienced a reduction in adiponectin levels, linked to increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance.
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