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Scientists are studying the effects of tomato consumption on skin cancer
Skin cancer is common around the world. Doctors have long been looking for ways to avoid the disease or to slow the progression of the disease efficiently. Researchers have now found that consuming tomatoes daily could cut the growth of skin cancer tumors in half.
In their investigation, Ohio State University researchers found that consuming tomatoes daily in mice trials reduced the development of skin cancer tumors. The doctors published the results of their study in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".
Tests on mice show the effect of tomatoes on skin cancer tumors
Can a change in diet really lead to a significant reduction in tumor growth? The experts found that if male mice ate 10 percent tomato powder daily for 35 weeks and were subsequently exposed to ultraviolet light, the development of skin cancer tumors was reduced by an average of 50 percent.
Why do tomatoes protect against skin cancer?
The theory behind the relationship between tomatoes and cancer is that so-called carotenoids (pigment compounds that give tomatoes their color) can protect the skin from UV light damage, explains author Jessica Cooperstone.
The gender of those affected must be taken into account in preventive strategies
There were no significant differences in the formation of tumors in female mice in the study, the scientists explain. And previous research has shown that male mice develop tumors earlier after UV exposure and that their tumors are more numerous, larger and more aggressive. This study showed us that in the future preventive strategies must take into account the gender of those affected, adds the author Tatiana Oberyszyn in a press release. What works for men does not always have to work equally well for women and vice versa.
Tomato paste can prevent sunburn
The results of previous human clinical studies suggested that consuming tomato paste over time can reduce sunburn. This may be due to the so-called carotenoids from the plants, which are deposited in human skin. Apparently, these carotenoids are able to protect the skin from UV light damage, explains Cooperstone. The primary carotenoid in tomatoes, called lycopene, has proven to be the most potent antioxidant of these pigments, the expert adds.
Whole tomatoes are more effective
When comparing the effects of lycopene, the scientists examined the consumption of whole tomatoes and that of a synthetic dietary supplement. Whole tomatoes were therefore more effective in preventing redness after UV exposure. This could suggest that other compounds in tomatoes also play an important role, the experts speculate.
Nutritional interventions can offer significant benefits
The rate of skin cancer has increased significantly in recent years. Despite a relatively low mortality rate, treatment is expensive. Alternative methods of protection, possibly through nutritional interventions, could offer significant benefits, says author Cooperstone. Food is not medication, but it can change the development of certain diseases through lifelong consumption, the expert adds. (as)