There has been media attention to the role of lycopenes found in tomatoes as a possible prevention of prostate cancer.
A study from England showed that men who eat over 10 portions a week of tomatoes have an 18% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Researches examined the diets and lifestyle of 1,806 men between the ages of 50 and 69 years with prostate cancer and compared them with 12,005 cancer-free men.
The study is the first study of its kind to develop a prostate cancer dietary index consisting of dietary components—selenium, calcium, and foods rich in lycopene—that have been linked to prostate cancer.
The results showed that men who had optimal intake of these three dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer, researchers found.
Tomatoes and tomato products, such as tomato juice and baked beans, were shown to be most beneficial, with an 18% reduction in risk found in men eating over 10 portions a week. This is thought to be due to lycopene, an antioxidant that fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage.
The findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention.
Bottom line: Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, and stay active.