A new study conducted by the UK-based researchers has found that addition of more tomatoes in the diet can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer by about 20 percent.
According to the researchers, those who eat more than 10 portions of tomatoes each week lower their prostate cancer risk by about 20 percent.
Researchers explain tomatoes have cancer-fighting properties due to presence of an antioxidant called lycopene that protects against damages to the DNA and cell.
A team of researchers from the School of Social and Community Medicine at Bristol University involved 20,000 British men between age group 50 and 69 years and analysed their diets and lifestyles.
The researchers found that the participants who ate more than 10 portions of tomatoes each week witnessed reduction in prostate cancer risk by 18 percent. The tomatoes were either consumed as fresh raw tomatoes, tomato juice and baked beans.
“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 [clinical] trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and maintain a healthy weight,” said study researcher Vanessa Er.
Apart from lycopene, selenium and calcium are two other dietary components associated with lower prostate cancer risk. While flour-based foods like bread and pasta are common source of selenium, calcium is found in dairy products like milk and cheese.
According to the scientists, men who had maximum intake of all the three dietary components showed a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.