Consuming tomatoes lowers risk of developing cancer by 18%.

lycopeneProstate is second most common cancer in men worldwide. A large scale study by the University of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford, looked at the diets and lifestyles of 1,806 men aged between 50 and 69 with prostate cancer and compared them to 12,2005 cancer-free men.

The study published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention is the first study of its kind to develop prostate cancer “dietary index” consisting of dietary components-selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene. Men with an optimal consumption of these three dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Tomatoes and associated products were the most beneficial with an 18% per cent reduction in men eating over 10 portions a week. Lycopene was the main ingredient attributed to this change, as it is an antioxidant which fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage.

“Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention. 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,” said Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU.


V. Er, J. Athene Lane, R. M. Martin, P. Emmett, R. Gilbert, K. N. L. Avery, E. Walsh, J. L. Donovan, D. E. Neal, F. C. Hamdy, M. Jeffreys. Adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations and prostate cancer risk in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2014; DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0322

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