New research suggests that consuming tomatoes can play an important role in lowering the risk of prostate cancer. According to a new study, men who ate over ten portions of tomatoes each week cut their risk of developing prostate cancer by almost 20 per cent.
The study was carried out by researchers from the School of Social and Community Medicine at Bristol University in the United Kingdom. The research team examined the diets and lifestyles of British men in their 50s and 60s.
Not only did the researchers find that eating more than ten servings of tomatoes each week reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 18 per cent, they also found that consuming at least five servings of fruit or vegetables each day helped decrease the risk by 24 per cent.
Overall, it’s clear tomatoes were a standout performer in helping reduce a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer. The Bristol researchers believe the antioxidant lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, can help protect against DNA and cell damage.
“Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention,” noted Bristol University researcher Vanessa Er. “However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human [clinical] trials.”
Prostate cancer expert Dr. Iain Frame adds that the lesson shouldn’t be to consume as many tomatoes as possible. Instead, he feels that a balanced diet containing lots of fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep prostate cancer at bay.
“What we do know is that men shouldn’t rely too heavily on one type of food, such as tomatoes,” Frame said. “A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, together with regular exercise is by far the best option.”