Prostate cancer accounts for 30 per cent of all new cancers in Australian men and this year alone more than 20,000 men are expected to be diagnosed. It is the second most common cancer in men, both in Australia and worldwide.
Recent research at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford suggests that the risk of developing prostate cancer is lowered by 18 per cent in men who consume more than 10 weekly portions of tomatoes and its products, such as tomato juice and baked beans. Researchers studied the diets and lifestyle of 1806 male subjects with prostate cancer in the 50 to 69 year age group, and compared them with 12,005 cancer-free men to ascertain whether following specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations would reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
This is the first study of its kind where a ‘dietary index’ has been developed consisting of selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene, which have been found to lower the risk of prostate cancer when included in a man’s diet. The lycopene found in tomatoes contains an antioxidant which fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage.
Lead researcher from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU, Vanessa Er has said: “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.”
Find out more at ScienceDaily.com.