Men may be able to cut theirskin cancer risk in half by eating tomatoes every day. This is according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports conducted by researchers from The Ohio State University in the United States.
So what's the theory behind the relationship between tomato consumption and a lower risk of skin cancer in men? Read on for the full findings...
New study links daily tomato consumption to 50% lower risk of skin cancer in men
To reach their findings, researchers fed mice a diet of 10% tomato powder daily for 35 weeks and then exposed them to ultraviolet light. On average, they found that the male mice that ate the dehydrated had a 50% decrease in skin cancer
tumours compared with those that didn’t.
The researchers noted no significant differences in tumour
number for the female mice in the study. Past studies have shown that male mice develop tumours earlier after UV exposure and that their tumours are numerous, bigger and more aggressive.
“This study showed us that we do need to consider sex when exploring different preventive strategies,” said Tatiana Oberyszyn, senior author of the study and a professor of pathology and member of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer
“What works in men may not always work equally well in women and vice versa,” she added.
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The dietary carotenoids in tomatoes may protect skin against UV light damage
The theory behind the relationship between daily tomato consumption and a lower risk of skin cancer
men is that dietary carotenoids – the compounds that give tomatoes their red pigment – may protect skin against UV light damage, according to Jessica Cooperstone, co-author of the study and a research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.
“Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments,” Cooperstone said.
“However, when comparing lycopene administered from a whole food (tomato) or a synthesised supplement, tomatoes appear more effective in preventing redness after UV exposure, suggesting other compounds in tomatoes may also be at play,” she concluded.
There you have it – if you’re a man and want to cut your skin cancer risk in half, make sure you work more tomatoes into your diet!
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