Do tomatoes significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy among men worldwide. A new study shows that the consumption of no less than 10 portions of tomatoes per week significantly reduces the risk of developing the disease.

Many health experts associate the high incidence of prostate cancer in developed countries with the particular “Europeanized” lifestyle and diet.

The new study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, will help scientists better understand what changes in diet and physical activity to recommend to men to significantly lower their risk the risk of this terrible disease.

This is also the first study to look at the ‘dietary index’ and its relationship to prostate cancer. The subject of the study is the impact of foods with a high content of selenium, calcium and lycopene on this type of malignant formation.

Tomatoes are one of those foods. The lycopene contained in them is an excellent source of carotenoids and gives fruits and vegetables their red color.

The results of previous studies show that there is a relationship between the consumption of foods containing this compound and improvement of the functions of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Lycopene has also been shown to be an effective agent for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is deposited on the walls of blood vessels.

According to the authors of the study conducted by scientists from the University of Bristol in Great Britain, lycopene also “fights” toxins that can damage the DNA of cells.

The study authors analyzed the diet and lifestyle of 1,806 men aged 50 to 69 with prostate cancer and compared the data with that of 12,005 healthy men in the same age range.

The results showed that for men who consumed more than 10 servings of tomatoes per week, including meals and other products containing the red fruit, such as tomato juice and baked beans in the tomato, there was an 18% lower risk of prostate cancer.

The study authors note, however, that one study is not enough to definitively confirm the importance of tomatoes in preventing prostate cancer.

Further research is needed in this direction, preferably in the form of randomized controlled trials.

However, there is no doubt at this time that men need to consume as wide a range of fruits and vegetables as possible in order to maintain a normal weight and remain physically active into old age.

Scientists who conducted the study also note that although lycopene-rich foods can easily be included in the daily menu in the form of baked beans and tomato puree, men should not overdo it because of the they contain considerable amounts of salt, sugar and fat.

As part of their research, the scientists also analyzed the recommendations for cancer prevention, expressed increasing physical activity, following a diet and maintaining a normal body weight.

These recommendations are the main way to prevent cancer according to the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

The authors of the study found that among all these recommendations, only one is valid for prostate cancer – consumption of large amounts of plant foods – fruits, vegetables and ballast substances, because only for them it is certain that they lower the risk of this terrible disease.

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