What occurred when most cancers sufferers got three quarters of a cup of canned tomato sauce each day for 3 weeks?

“Occasionally…positive things happen in the field of cancer prevention science to popular, good-tasting foods.” Cruciferous greens like broccoli are great, however they might be “a hard food for the public to swallow.” By distinction, who doesn’t like tomatoes?

As I’ve mentioned beforehand, research utilizing high-dose dietary supplements of lycopene, the antioxidant purple pigment in tomatoes regarded as the energetic anti-cancer ingredient, failed time and again to stop or deal with most cancers. In reality, it might even find yourself selling most cancers, since lycopene may very well act as a professional-oxidant on the excessive ranges one can get with dietary supplements. But, lycopene in complement kind doesn’t seem to be efficient at decrease doses both. “There is a strong inverse [protective] correlation between the intake of fruit and vegetables and the incidence of certain cancers.” However, once we complement with solely a single compound remoted in capsule kind, we could upset the wholesome, pure steadiness of antioxidants.

It does appear to be fairly the human hubris to suppose we are able to reproduce the useful results of consuming total vegetables and fruit by giving dietary supplements of a single phytochemical, which might usually work together with hundreds of different compounds within the pure matrix Mother Nature supposed. “In addition to lycopene, [other] known carotenoids in tomatoes and tomato-based products include β-carotene, γ-carotene, ζ-carotene, phytofluene, and phytoene, all of which…have been found to accumulate in human prostate tissue.” There are additionally quite a few non-carotenoid compounds in tomatoes which will have anti-cancer exercise, to not point out all the compounds we now have but to even characterize.

It’s not about discovering the one magic bullet, although. As one examine title reads, “The anti-cancer effects of carotenoids and other phytonutrients resides in their combined activity.” For instance, as you may see at 1:52 in my video Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer, on the low concentrations of the tomato compounds phytoene, phytofluene, and lycopene which are discovered in most individuals who eat regular quantities of tomatoes, there’s little or no impact on most cancers cell development in vitro when used individually. But, when they’re mixed collectively, a non-effective dose of phytoene and phytofluene plus a non-effective dose of lycopene in some way grow to be efficient, considerably suppressing prostate most cancers cell development. The identical synergy might be seen throughout meals. Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric and curry powder, tomato extracts, and the vitamin E present in nuts and seeds do little individually to inhibit pro-growth signaling of prostate most cancers cells—lower than 10 p.c—however all three collectively suppress development signaling about 70 p.c. The entire is larger than the sum of its components.

So, as an alternative of giving most cancers sufferers lycopene capsules, what if we give them some tomato sauce? Researchers gave 32 sufferers with localized prostate most cancers three quarters of a cup of canned tomato sauce each day for 3 weeks earlier than their scheduled radical prostatectomy. In their bloodstream, PSA ranges dropped by 17.5 p.c. PSA, prostate-specific antigen, is a protein produced by prostate gland cells, and elevated blood PSA ranges are routinely used to observe the success of most cancers remedy. “It was surprising to find that the 3-week, tomato sauce-based dietary intervention” may lower PSA concentrations in males with prostate most cancers. As nicely, free radical injury of the DNA of their white blood cells dropped by 21 p.c. Imagine how antioxidant-poor their food plan will need to have been beforehand if lower than one cup of tomato sauce a day may scale back DNA injury by greater than a fifth! 

What did they discover of their prostates, although? Human prostate tissue is thought to be “particularly vulnerable to oxidative DNA damage by free radicals, which are thought to play a critical role in all stages of carcinogenesis,” that’s, of most cancers formation. This could also be for numerous causes, together with fewer DNA restore enzymes. Well, the researchers had tissue samples taken from biopsies earlier than the tomato sauce routine began, in addition to tissue samples from surgical procedures after three weeks of tomato sauce, and resected tissues from tomato sauce-supplemented sufferers had 28 p.c much less free radical injury than anticipated. I present a graph of the DNA injury within the prostate earlier than the tomato sauce and after simply 20 days of sauce at 4:18 in my video. You can see the drop your self. What’s attention-grabbing is there was no affiliation between the extent of lycopene within the prostate and the protecting results. Tomatoes include a complete bunch of issues, a few of which can be much more highly effective than lycopene.

Regardless, in distinction to the lycopene dietary supplements alone, the entire meals intervention appeared to assist. To see if lycopene performs any function in any respect, one must check a lycopene-free tomato—in different phrases, a yellow tomato. So, what if you happen to in contrast purple tomatoes to yellow tomatoes, which have all of the non-lycopene tomato compounds, to straight lycopene in a capsule? Researchers fed individuals purple tomato paste, yellow tomato paste, lycopene capsules, or placebo capsules, after which dripped their blood onto prostate most cancers cells rising in a petri dish. As you may see at 5:18 in my video, the purple tomato serum—the blood from those that ate purple tomato paste—considerably decreased the prostate most cancers cell’s expression of a growth-promoting gene referred to as cyclin D1, in comparison with these not consuming something. This downregulation of the gene by the purple tomato consumption “may contribute to lower prostate cancer risk by limiting cell proliferation.” The purple tomato appeared to work higher than the yellow tomato, so perhaps the lycopene helped—however not in capsule kind. This gene “was not regulated” by the lycopene capsule serum, indicating that it might be one thing else. And, lycopene alone considerably upregulated procarcinogenic genes. “Therefore, it can be stated that tomato consumption may be preferable to pure lycopene…”

So, what’s one of the best ways? A partner wrote to the editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, saying their husband needs to have pizza for his prostate however they don’t suppose it’s a wholesome meals. The physician replied with the suggestion of a “cheese-free pizza (with broccoli instead of pepperoni, please)” or simply some “tomato juice.”

Why eat tomato sauce when you may simply take lycopene dietary supplements? See my video Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer.

Are there any meals we must always keep away from? Check out, for instance, Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio and How Our Gut Bacteria Can Use Eggs to Accelerate Cancer.


We might be able to forestall most cancers and even reverse the development of most cancers with food plan. See: 

It isn’t all the time simple to get guys to vary, although. See Changing a Man’s Diet After a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.

In well being, 

Michael Greger, M.D.

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