NewsCan Tomatoes Tackle Prostate Cancer? Experts Shed Light on Lycopene's Role

Can Tomatoes Tackle Prostate Cancer? Experts Shed Light on Lycopene's Role

What products protect against cancer?
What products protect against cancer?
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2:06 PM EDT, April 19, 2024

Is there a way to reverse the risk of prostate cancer? Dr. Michael Mosley, renowned for creating the Fast 800 diet, and Prof. Richard van Breemen from Oregon State University, have shared their insights on this topic in a recent episode of a BBC podcast. They highlighted the significant role tomatoes play in maintaining prostate health.

The Role of Lycopene in Protecting the Prostate

Dr. Mosley aired his concerns about prostate cancer, pointing out several studies that show how consuming tomatoes can lower the risk of this disease.
Professor van Breemen discussed the distinct properties of lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, noting its potent antioxidant properties which could be crucial in cancer prevention. Despite over 20 years of research into lycopene, he mentioned that many aspects still need deeper investigation.
He spotlighted a long-term study involving doctors, revealing that those who consumed the most lycopene had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

Van Breemen also mentioned that the prostate's limited ability to regenerate DNA, compared to other organs, might, over time, contribute to cancer development. Lycopene, he suggests, could play a significant role in reducing early DNA damage.

A 2022 issue of the journal Nutrients featured publications underscoring lycopene's health benefits, particularly in combating prostate cancer. However, the researchers highlighted the need for further studies to pinpoint the optimal daily lycopene intake for prevention.

Processed Tomatoes

The experts concurred that thermally processed tomatoes—such as those in sauces—are more effective for lycopene absorption. Heat treatment enhances lycopene's bioavailability, making it easier for the body to absorb.

Nevertheless, they also noted the advantages of consuming raw tomatoes, which remain a valuable source of lycopene despite being absorbed in slightly smaller amounts.

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