As if you didn't already have enough reasons to eat delicious tomato sauce, new research suggests that eating more lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their deep red color, is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Now, scientists have identified a number of mechanisms by which lycopene helps enhance cancer-fighting properties in healthy prostate cells, according to a report
in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
According to the Wall St. Journal, lycopene—a pigment or carotenoid found in tomato paste and sauce and to a lesser extent in unprocessed tomatoes—has been studied before, mainly using cancerous prostate cells. The latest study, conducted in Chicago, used benign prostate cells from healthy human subjects. The cells were treated with either a lycopene-containing solution or a placebo for 48 hours and then analyzed for changes in protein levels. The concentration of lycopene used was comparable to blood levels in men consuming about 30 milligrams a day, the equivalent of a 7.1-ounce can of tomato sauce, researchers said. Here's a link
to the article in the Wall St. Journal.