Study Shows Tomatoes May Help Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Researchers are constantly looking for ways to help people reduce their risk of developing all forms of cancer. A study conducted by researchers from Rutgers University and Ohio State University revealed a diet rich in tomatoes may help protect postmenopausal women who are at risk for developing breast cancer.

The study examined 70 postmenopausal women for 20 weeks. During the first 10-week period, the participants ate tomato products daily, which contained a total of 25 milligrams of lycopene. During the second installment of the project, each person consumed 20 grams of soy protein each day. When the women consumed tomatoes, their levels of adiponectin, which helps regulate blood sugar and fat levels, increased by nine percent. The study also showed that women who maintained a healthy weight benefitted from eating tomatoes even more.

Photo: Flickr/Tony
Photo: Flickr/Tony

“The advantages of eating plenty of tomatoes and tomato-based products, even for a short period, were clearly evident in our findings,” Adana Llanos, PhD, the study’s first author and assistant professor of epidemiology at Rutgers University, said in a statement.

So how do tomatoes help with cancer risk? They, like other fruits and vegetables, are rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients such as phytochemicals, all of which are useful for preventing and fighting various diseases. Tomatoes, specifically, contain lycopene, which can help reduce the chance of developing breast cancer in those who have a high risk factor.

Photo: Flickr/John Mason
Photo: Flickr/John Mason

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According to the American Cancer Society, lycopene is responsible for giving tomatoes their color, and it is known to lower the risk of other types of cancer as well, including prostate, lung and stomach cancers.

While tomatoes might not be the miracle cure, every little bit helps when it comes to cancer prevention.

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