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Tomatoes and Prostate Cancer


Many U.S. restaurants have eliminated fresh tomatoes from their menus because of a salmonella scare. But processed tomatoes may become the latest food craze because of new research. The research shows that a particular tomato product -- dried tomatoes -- helps prevent prostate cancer, at least in laboratory rats.

When tomatoes are processed and dehydrated, an organic carbohydrate, or sugar known as FruHis, is produced.

Professor Valeri Mossine at the University of Missouri says this could be the ingredient that prevents or even helps fight prostate cancer. "Our results demonstrated that incidence of prostate cancer in the animals that were receiving tomato paste plus this carbohydrate was six times lower as compared to the prostate cancer rate in the control group."

Many studies point to the cancer prevention properties of tomatoes. These studies have suggested that lycopene, the pigment that makes tomatoes red, is the ingredient.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says these studies failed to show a connection between tomato consumption and a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer, or any other cancer.

Professor Mossine says he would like to better understand how the tomato pigment, lycopene, and the carbohydrate FruHis interact with each other.

Professor Mossine says this knowledge also may eventually be used along with chemotherapy in battling cancer, that giving patients the non-toxic chemicals from tomatoes might mean these patients could receive smaller doses of the toxic chemicals in chemotherapy.

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