Tomato Health Facts
Organic ketchup protects against cancer - Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
Tomato Paste Found to Function as Internal Sunscreen, Blocking UV Rays and
Foods rich in cooked tomatoes may boost your body's ability to ward off skin damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays and stave off the effects of aging, according to a study conducted by researchers from the universities of Manchester and Newcastle, England, and presented to the British Society for Investigative Dermatology.
Researchers fed 10 volunteers a daily supplement of 10 grams of olive oil and 55 grams of standard tomato paste, while another 10 were given only the olive oil. After three months, the researchers analyzed skin samples from all 20 participants.
They found that volunteers who had eaten the tomatoes exhibited 33 percent more protection against sunburn than those who had taken olive oil alone. They also had higher levels of procollagen, a protein that plays a crucial role in preserving skin structure.
"The tomato diet boosted the level of procollagen in the skin significantly. These increasing levels suggest potential reversal of the skin aging process," researcher Lesley Rhodes said.
"These weren't huge amounts of tomato we were feeding the group. It was the sort of quantity you would easily manage if you were eating a lot of tomato-based meals."
The scientists believe that lycopene neutralizes free radicals that are formed when UV radiation strikes the skin. These free radicals have been linked to cancer and the effects of aging.
The researchers warned that the sun protection acquired from the tomatoes was equivalent only to that provided by a low-grade sunscreen and should be used as a "helpful addition," rather than a replacement.
*1 Giovannucci, Edward et al., "Intake of Carotenoids and Retinol in Relation to Risk of prostate Cancer," Journal of the National Cancer Miracle Nutrient That Can Prevent Aging, Heart Diseaseand Cancer," Advanced Research Press, Inc. 1999. Hauppauge, N.Y.
*2 Tomato Research Council, Article, "Lycopene in the American Diet," Undated
*3 Hanley, Daniel Q., "Tomatoes, Oranges, Pasta and Soybeans Studied as Cancer fighters," AP, April 14, 1997
*4 Kumpulainen, Jorma T. et al, "Natural Antioxidants and Food Quality in Atherosclerosis and Cancer Prevention," Royal Society of Chemistry Information Services and Scheer, James F., "Tomato Power! Lycopene: The Miracle Nutrient That Can Prevent Aging, Heart Disease and Cancer," Advanced Research Press, Inc. 1999. Hauppauge, N.Y.
*5 Meres-Perlman, Julie A., Ph.D., "Serum Antioxidants and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Population-Based Case-Control Study," Archives Ophthalmology, December, 1995, Vol. 113:1518-1523.
*6 Aviram, Michael, Ph.D., "Lycopene and Antherosclerosis," A publication of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Scheer, James F., "Tomato Power! Lycopene: The Miracle Nutrient That Can Prevent Aging, Heart Disease and Cancer," Advanced Research Press, Inc. 1999. Hauppauge, N.Y.
*7 Journal reference: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (DOI: 10.1021/jf0401540)