Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lycopene’s anti-cancer effect linked to other tomato components

05.11.2003


New research suggests that lycopene -- a carotenoid in tomatoes that has been linked to a lowered risk of prostate cancer -- does not act alone. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ohio State University say that lycopene’s punch is stronger in combination with other phytochemicals in the fruit.

Lycopene is an antioxidant and the pigment that provides the red color of tomatoes. Because of recent epidemiological studies suggestive of lycopene’s role against prostate cancer, the compound has made its way into dietary supplements. These new findings, based on a comprehensive prostate-cancer survival study done on rats, indicate that a combination of the bioactive compounds may offer the best anti-cancer effect.

"It has been unclear whether lycopene itself is protective. This study suggests that lycopene is one factor involved in reducing the risk of prostate cancer," said John Erdman Jr., a professor of food science and human nutrition and of internal medicine at Illinois. "This also suggests that taking lycopene as a dietary supplement is not as effective as eating whole tomatoes. We believe people should consume whole tomato products -- in pastas, in salads, in tomato juice and even on pizza."



The study, which lasted 14 months, appears in the Nov. 5 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers now suggest that the lycopene found in human prostate tissue and the blood of animals and humans who remain disease free may reflect heightened exposure not just to lycopene but also to other compounds that may be working in synergy with it.

In the new study, researchers in Erdman’s laboratory at Illinois randomly assigned 194 male rats treated with a carcinogen to induce prostate cancer to diets containing whole tomato powder, pure lycopene or a control.

Four weeks later, the rats were divided into two groups, with one having unlimited access to food and the second consuming 80 percent of the first’s average daily intake. At the conclusion of the feeding portion of the study, histological studies on all of the rats’ tissues and blood were done at Ohio State under the direction of Dr. Steven K. Clinton. Clinton earned a doctorate in nutritional sciences from Illinois and a medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Researchers found that the rats that had consumed the tomato powder had a 26 percent lower risk of prostate cancer death than control rats, after controlling for diet restriction. The rats fed pure lycopene had a risk of prostate cancer similar to control rats.

"Tomato powder consumption clearly extended the life and reduced the cancer in this particular model," Erdman said. "Lycopene was a little better than the control group but not as good as the tomato powder group."

In the end, prostate cancer had claimed the lives of 80 percent of the control group, 72 percent of the lycopene-fed rats and 62 percent of the rats fed tomato powder. Rats on the restricted diet had an even lower risk of developing prostate cancer, independent of their diets. The researchers suggest that tomato products and diet restriction may have independent additive benefits.

Other unpublished data in cell culture studies support the idea that lycopene’s role is enhanced in the presence of other phytochemicals in tomatoes, Erdman said. His lab also is collaborating in studies finding that higher blood levels of lycopene in human serum correlates to lower risks of prostate cancer, especially in men over age 65. That work is part of an on-going, long-term study of more than 51,500 male health professionals by the Harvard University School of Public Health.

Erdman, who was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in October, Clinton and colleagues say that more work is needed to understand the role of the various phytochemicals in tomatoes and to determine whether there are additive or synergistic effects among the compounds.

"Our findings strongly suggest that risks of poor dietary habits cannot be reversed simply by taking a pill," Clinton, a professor of hematology and oncology and of human nutrition, said in an Ohio State news release. "We shouldn’t expect easy solutions to complex problems. We must focus more on choosing a variety of healthy foods, exercising and watching our weight."

Animal-based studies, such as this one involving rats, Erdman said, expand on the epidemiologic findings regarding reduced cancer risks and could pave the way for human clinical trials using tomato products or extracts to protect against the development of prostate cancer.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>