New Cancer Fighter: Cooked Tomatoes

Heinz-backed research highlights lycopene
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 2:47 PM CST
New Cancer Fighter: Cooked Tomatoes
Cooked tomatoes help battle cancer, a study says.   (Shutterstock)

Good news, but only if you like tomatoes: The chemical that makes them red helps fight prostate cancer, a study suggests. In a lab, lycopene was shown to stop cancer cells from attaching to a blood supply. The process can delay the cells' growth, and even kill them, the Telegraph reports. "'This simple chemical reaction was shown to occur at lycopene concentrations that can easily be achieved by eating processed tomatoes," said one of the researchers in Britain.

All red veggies contain lycopene, but it's most potent in tomatoes that have been processed. The scientists behind the study—which was partially funded by Heinz—emphasized that further study was needed to learn whether the lab reaction would also occur in the human body. "Individuals will vary in how much lycopene their bodies make available to fight cancer cell growth, and the ability of lycopene to 'intercept' in this way in the body is likely to vary between tomato products," said the researcher. (More tomatoes stories.)

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