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Tomato Health Facts

  • Eating tomatoes, ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste-topped pizza more than two times a week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 21 to 43 percent according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard University School of Public Health. *1
  • "The only nutrient that turned out to have significant preventative value (against prostate cancer) was lycopene," writes Dr. Giovannucci who also found that lycopene was most efficiently absorbed into the body when accompanied by dietary fats (limpids). *1
  • "Cooking tomatoes in oil encourages intestinal absorption and results in a two-to-threefold rise in plasma lycopene concentrations," said Dr. Giovannucci. "Tomato sauce is one of the best lycopene sources." *1
  • Men who eat two or more servings of tomato products average a 35 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk. *1
  • Tomato products are beneficial in aggressive cancers that have also spread to other parts of the body. *1
  • The best food sources of lycopene according to the Tomato Research Council in New York City: ( Amount of lycopene in one ounce) Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup (5 mg); Tomato Soup, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Vegetable Juice (3 mg); Minestrone Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pink Grapefruit (1 mg) *2
  • Lycopene helps women guard against cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, (CIN), tumorous tissue growth in the cervix according to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago. *3
  • Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of the growth of breast, endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and lung cancer cells. *4
  • Tomatoes are good for the eyes. Lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in the blood serum, was found to be the key antioxidant that guards against ARMD ( Age-Related Macular Degeneration), a condition that may cause blindness. *5
  • Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium
  • Lycopene is an inhibitor to heart disease. *6

Organic ketchup protects against cancer - Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
January 09 2005 - Anna Gosline

  • Organic varieties of tomato ketchup contain three times as much of a cancer-fighting chemical called lycopene as non-organic brands. *7
  • In the US, tomato ketchup comes in purple and green varieties as well as the traditional red. Betty Ishida and Mary Chapman at the Agricultural Research Service in Albany, California, US, wondered if the coloringmight be indicative of low levels of lycopene, the pigment that makes tomatoes red. *7
  • The chemical has been shown to help protect against breast, pancreatic, prostate and intestinal cancer, especially when eaten with fatty foods. There is also evidence that lycopene can reduce the risk of heart attacks ( New Scientist print edition, 23 December 2000). *7
  • The researchers tested lycopene levels and antioxidant activity in 13 ketchup brands: six popular ones, three organic, two store brands and two from fast-food chains. Purple and green ketchups had a similar lycopene content to their plain red counterparts. *7
  • But organic ketchups excelled, with one brand containing 183 micrograms of lycopene per gram of ketchup, about five times as much per weight as a tomato. Non-organic brands averaged 100 micrograms per gram, with one fast-food sample containing just 60 micrograms per gram. *7
  • If you want high lycopene levels, says Ishida, the rule of thumb is to pick the darkest red ketchup. *7

Tomato Paste Found to Function as Internal Sunscreen, Blocking UV Rays and
Protecting Skin Health - NaturalNews.com

September 24 2008 - David Gutierrez

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.

References:

*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)