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 WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>