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Do Tomatoes Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

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Prostate Cancer Nutrition And Dietary Supplements Patient Version

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto RecipeLycopene to Prevent Prostate Cancer
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Men in the United States get prostate cancer more than any other type of cancer except skin cancer. It occurs mainly in older men. In the United States, about 1 in every 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Most men with prostate cancer do not die of it.

Complementary and alternative medicine is a form of treatment used in addition to or instead of standard treatments.

CAM use among men with prostate cancer is common. Studies of why men with prostate cancer decide to use CAM show that their choice is based on medical history, beliefs about the safety and side effects of CAM compared to standard treatments, and a need to feel in control of their treatment.

CAM treatments used by men with prostate cancer include certain foods, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, and minerals.

Different types of research have been done to study the use of CAM in prostate cancer. These study types include the following:

This PDQ summary has sections about the use of specific foods and dietary supplements to prevent or treat prostate cancer:

Each section includes the following information for each food or dietary supplement:

  • How it is given or taken.
  • Results of studies done in people.
  • Side effects or risks.

Eating Tomatoes Can Reduce Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer Study Shows

New research suggests that consuming tomatoes can play an important role in lowering the risk of prostate cancer. According to a new study, men who ate over ten portions of tomatoes each week cut their risk of developing prostate cancer by almost 20 per cent.

The study was carried out by researchers from the School of Social and Community Medicine at Bristol University in the United Kingdom. The research team examined the diets and lifestyles of British men in their 50s and 60s.

Not only did the researchers find that eating more than ten servings of tomatoes each week reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 18 per cent, they also found that consuming at least five servings of fruit or vegetables each day helped decrease the risk by 24 per cent.

Overall, its clear tomatoes were a standout performer in helping reduce a mans chance of developing prostate cancer. The Bristol researchers believe the antioxidant lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, can help protect against DNA and cell damage.

Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention, noted Bristol University researcher Vanessa Er. However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human trials.

What we do know is that men shouldnt rely too heavily on one type of food, such as tomatoes, Frame said. A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, together with regular exercise is by far the best option.

Questions And Answers About Lycopene

  • What is lycopene?

    Lycopene is a carotenoid . It mixes with or dissolves in fats. Lycopene protects plants from light-related stress and helps them use the energy of the sun to make nutrients. Lycopene is found in fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apricots, guavas, and watermelons.

    The main source of lycopene in the United States is tomato-based products. Lycopene is easier for the body to use when it is eaten in processed tomato products like tomato paste and tomato puree than in raw tomatoes.

    Lycopene has been studied for its role in the prevention of heart and blood vessel disease.

  • How is lycopene given or taken?

    Lycopene may be eaten in food or taken in dietary supplements.

  • Have any laboratory or animal studies been done using lycopene?

    See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using lycopene.

  • Have any studies of lycopene been done in people?

    Population studies and clinical trials have been done to find out if lycopene can prevent or treat prostate cancer. Clinical trials have shown mixed results some studies have shown a lower risk of having prostate cancer or a decrease in prostate-specific antigen level, and others have not. There is not enough evidence to know whether lycopene can prevent or treat prostate cancer.

    Population and combined studies

  • Recommended Reading: Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer Side Effects

    Eat Tomatoes And Other Red Foods

    Tomatoes, watermelon, and other red foods owe their bright color to a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Some recent studies show that men who consume this fruit and tomato-based products have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who dont. However, the American Institute for Cancer Research cautions that studies linking tomatoes to prostate cancer prevention are limited and ongoing.

    A 2018 study from Spain suggest that cooking tomatoes makes it easier for your body to absorb lycopene. The redder the tomato, the better because lycopene accumulates during ripening. That means that pale, store-bought tomatoes that are picked too early have less lycopene than vine-ripened tomatoes.

    • Drinking four to five cups of coffee every day can lower your chances of fatal and high-grade prostate cancer, according to a 2014 review of clinical studies.
    • Regardless of how many cups you drink overall, every three cups of coffee you drink can reduce your risk of fatal prostate cancer about 11 percent.

    This describes a dose-response relationship between prostate cancer and coffee. That means the effect on prostate cancer goes up or down with the amount of coffee you drink. These effects may not extend to someone who only grabs an occasional cup.

    However, high doses of caffeine can cause major health issues, such as irregular heartbeat and seizures. The Mayo Clinic cautions against ingesting more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee.

    The Facts Of Prostate Cancer

    Tomatoes May Help to Prevent Prostate Cancer

    The prostate, an organ located under the bladder, produces semen. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

    The risk of developing prostate cancer progressively increases with age. About 60 percent of all prostate cancers in the United States are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older. It is rare for men to develop prostate cancer before age 40.

    Theres no absolute prostate cancer prevention, but evidence suggests diet plays a key role. Keep reading for diet tips and more information.

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    Questions And Answers About Calcium

  • What is calcium?

    Calcium is a mineral that is needed for basic blood vessel, muscle, and nerve functioning, for sending signals from cell to cell, and for releasing hormones. It is the most common mineral in the body. The body stores calcium mainly in bone tissue.

  • How is calcium given or taken?

    The main sources of calcium are in foods and dietary supplements. About one-third of dietary calcium comes from milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt. Vegetable sources include Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Foods may have calcium added, such as fruit juices and drinks, tofu, and cereals.

    Most research about calcium and prostate cancer risk has studied calcium in the diet and not calcium in supplements.

  • Have any laboratory or animal studies been done using calcium?

    See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using calcium.

  • A 2005 review found a possible link between an increased risk of prostate cancer and a diet high in dairy products and calcium.
  • A review of studies published between 1996 and 2006 found that milk and dairy products in the diet increased the risk of prostate cancer.
  • A 2008 review of 45 studies found no link between dairy products and the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Population studies

    Clinical trials

    Do Certain Foods Increase The Risk Of Prostate Cancer

    Its not entirely clear which foods increase the risk of prostate cancer. Meat , fatty foods, carbohydrates, eggs, poultry, and milk are all prime suspects, however reports connecting these foods to prostate cancer are inconsistent . Several studies do raise a concern for dairy milk, specifically dairy calcium and protein. Recently, an extensive population study from the UK estimated that a 35g per day increase in dairy protein raises the risk of prostate cancer by 32% . This is the equivalent of drinking 4-5 cups of whole milk daily. If you are really concerned about your risk for prostate cancer, you may consider decreasing your meat and dairy intake.

    Also Check: How To Reduce Prostate Swelling Naturally

    How To Add More Fish To Your Diet

    Adding more omega-3s to your diet can be as easy as cracking open a can of sardines or tuna. Not everyone is so enthusiastic about fish, though. Plus, it can also be expensive.

    If you havent enjoyed fish in the past, try a different type. Each one has a unique flavor. The flavor is also milder if the fish is fresh, so you may enjoy fish more if you buy it from a fish counter and make it that day.

    Cod, flounder, and trout have milder flavors. Try topping your fish with a lemon sauce or adding it to another prostate-friendly food. For example, you could try baked cod in a tomato sauce.

    To stretch your dollar, you can also add fish to dishes like pasta, soup, salad, or sandwiches. That way you wont need as much fish to make a complete meal.

    You can also ask your healthcare provider about taking omega-3 supplements.


    Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain healthful omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds may help keep the prostate healthy, though more studies are needed.

    Impact Of Consumption Of Tomatoes On Psa Levels In Prostate Cancer Patients

    Can Eating Tomatoes Prevent Prostate Cancer? | Super Foods: The Real Story

    In a study published in 2017, the researchers from the University of Oslo, Norway, evaluated whether lycopene-rich tomatoes could reduce the levels of prostate specific antigen in prostate cancer patients. The study used data from 79 patients with prostate cancer. The study found that three week nutritional intervention with tomato-products alone or in combination with selenium and n-3 fatty acids may reduce PSA levels in patients with non-metastatic prostate cancer.

    Read Also: Do Females Have Prostate Cancer

    Two Key Points Surrounding Tomatoes And Cancer

    Two important points emerge from these studies. The first is that processed tomatoessauce and pasteare more effective than raw tomatoes at reducing cancer risk. In the raw tomato, the lycopene is bound into the cell walls and fiber. Processing breaks down these cell walls and frees the lycopene to be absorbed by the body. Ounce for ounce, processed tomato products and cooked tomatoes contain two to eight times the available lycopene of raw tomatoes. While processing does diminish the levels of vitamin C in the tomatoes, it elevates the total antioxidant activity, thus ultimately providing an enhanced benefit.

    The second important point, which Dr. Giovannucci mentions in his article, once again highlights the importance of whole foods. While he notes the association between tomato consumption and reduced cancer risk, particularly lung, stomach. and prostate cancers, he makes it clear that a direct benefit of lycopene has not been proven and other compounds in tomatoes alone or interacting with lycopene may be important. Given the rich array of nutrients in tomatoes it wouldnt be surprising if, once again, the synergy of those nutrients were the reason for the positive effects.

    Prostate cancer isnt the only type of cancer that tomatoes seem to help protect against. A growing body of evidence suggests that lycopene provides some degree of protection against cancers of the breast, digestive tract, cervix, bladder, and lung.

    Study By University Of Illinois At Urbana

    In a study published in 2018, the researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, United States evaluated the association between consumption of various types of tomato products and the risk of prostate cancer risk. Data for the study was obtained from 24,222 cases and 260,461 participants identified based on literature search in PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library databases till April 10, 2017.

    The study found that a high consumption of tomato foods and cooked tomatoes and sauces may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. However, this study did not find any significant association between raw tomatoes and prostate cancer risk.

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    Questions And Answers About Vitamin D

  • What is vitamin D?

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in fatty fish, fish liver oil, and eggs. Vitamin D may also be added to dairy products.

    Vitamin D has many actions in the body, including the following:

  • See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using vitamin D.

  • Have any studies of vitamin D been done in people?

    Population studies and clinical trials have been done to study the effects of vitamin D on prostate cancer. The results of these studies have been mixed. Some studies have shown a link between Vitamin D levels and prostate cancer, and others have not. There is not enough evidence to know whether giving vitamin D can prevent prostate cancer.

    Combined studies

  • A 2008 review of 45 studies found no link between taking vitamin D and prostate cancer risk.
  • A 2009 study found that men with low levels of sun exposure had an increased risk of prostate cancer and advanced disease.
  • A 2011 review of 25 studies found no link between either vitamin D in the diet or blood levels of vitamin D and the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Population studies

    Clinical trials

    Focus On Diet Not Pills

    Why Eating Tomato Helps Reduce The Risk Of Heart Diseases ...

    So what can be said about the influence of diet and lifestyle on prostate cancer risk? Not much, says Peters.

    There is growing evidence that obesity increases a man’s risk for the disease and some suggestion that a healthy diet may be protective. But neither association has been proven.

    American Cancer Society nutritional epidemiologist Marji McCullough, PhD, says it is increasingly clear that cancer prevention efforts should focus more on healthy diets and less on single nutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene.

    “Single nutrients don’t always give you the big picture,” she says. “We saw that a few years ago in the beta-carotene studies.”

    Researchers thought taking beta-carotene would help prevent lung cancer in smokers, but they ended up finding more cancers in the smokers who took the antioxidant supplements.

    McCullough says the message from those studies and this one is that until more is known, individual carotenoids should not be taken in high doses in supplement form.

    “I would recommend that people try to get their carotenoids and other nutrients from the foods they eat,” she says. “That ensures that they are getting the nutrient in its natural form along with the other nutrients in those foods.”

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    Prostate Cancer: Six Things Men Should Know About Tomatoes Fish Oil Vitamin Supplements Testosterone Psa Tests

    SEATTLE â Aug. 22, 2012 â When it comes to prostate cancer, thereâs a lot of confusion about how to prevent it, find it early and the best way â or even whether â to treat it. Below are six common prostate cancer myths along with research-based information from scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to help men separate fact from fiction.

    Myth 1 â Eating tomato-based products such as ketchup and red pasta sauce prevents prostate cancer. âThe vast majority of studies show no association,â said Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., associate director of the Hutchinson Centerâs Cancer Prevention Program and a national expert in prostate cancer prevention. Kristal and colleagues last year published results of the largest study to date that aimed to determine whether foods that contain lycopene â the nutrient that puts the red in tomatoes â actually protect against prostate cancer.

    After examining blood levels of lycopene in nearly 3,500 men nationwide they found no association. âScientists and the public should understand that early studies supporting an association of dietary lycopene with reduced prostate cancer risk have not been replicated in studies using serum biomarkers of lycopene intake,â the authors reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. âRecommendations of professional societies to the public should be modified to reflect the likelihood that increasing lycopene intake will not affect prostate cancer risk.â

    # # #

    Can Certain Foods Lower The Risk Of Prostate Cancer

    Sundried Tomatoes

  • Lycopene-rich foods: Lycopene is a phytochemical that contributes to the reddish color of certain vegetables. Tomatoes, Watermelon, Guava, Red Peppers, Grape Fruit, and Carrots are a few examples of lycopene-rich foods. If you desperately wishing to find more information about lycopene, check out this review article.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages.
  • Allium veggies such as onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, and shallots.
  • Green Tea.
  • Beans and lentils.
  • Raisins and Dates .
  • Again, no food can eliminate the risk of prostate cancer entirely, but these foods may offer some protection. You should talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening, but I can give you the green light to eat more tomatoes.

    Recommended Reading: What Happens If Prostate Cancer Goes Untreated

    Whats The Conclusion On Lycopene And Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer is highly prevalent among men, especially men over the age of 50. Due to its prevalence, experts are constantly looking for new ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer. While lycopene may hold some promise, its not a solution just yet.

    It may not be a proven treatment, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt consume lycopene. Some studies suggest it does help, and it has very few toxicities or side effects.

    Lycopene supplementation may help your prostate, so its worth the consumption.

    Plus, lycopene may have other health benefits as well. It may be able to:

    It may even keep you looking young by maintaining the skin cells integrity against everyday pollutants and toxins. Tomatoes = the fountain of youth?

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