It’s just an early-stage lab-mouse study, but researchers at Ohio State University say they’ve seen amazing results in their investigation of the effects of Tomato carotinoids in suppressing the development of skin cancer tumors. And the study may have even farther-reaching benefits…
The study’s senior author, Tatiana Oberyszyn, a professor of pathology and member of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, says, “Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments. However, when comparing lycopene administered from a whole food (tomato) or a synthesized supplement, tomatoes appear more effective in preventing redness after UV exposure, suggesting other compounds in tomatoes may also be at play.”
Sex differences significant
In the lab trials, mice were fed a diet of 10 percent Tomato powder daily for 35 weeks, then exposed to ultraviolet light. Male mice experienced, on average, a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors compared to mice that ate no dehydrated Tomato. Female mice, on the other hand, showed no difference in their tendency to develop non-melanoma cancers as a result of eating Tomato.
“This study showed us that we do need to consider sex when exploring different preventive strategies. What works in men may not always work equally well in women and vice versa,” Oberyszyn says.
Rarely fatal. but costly and disfiguring…
Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common of all cancers, with more new cases each year – 5.4 million cases in 2012 – than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.
Still, Oberyszyn says the findings are significantant:
“Foods are not drugs, but they can possibly, over the lifetime of consumption, alter the development of certain diseases.”
So, order a big slice of Beefsteak Tomato on your next Burger, and lean toward Panzanella Salad next time you’re at an Italian restaurant!
~ Maggie J.