Carrots and tomatoes may reduce ovarian cancer risk

October 9, 2001 in Cancer Prevention, Healthy Eating, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, Women's Health

Carrots and tomatoes may reduce ovarian cancer risk

A new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston suggests that women who eat plenty of carrots, tomatoes and other foods high in beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene may reduce their risk of ovarian cancer. Both beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, and lycopene are antioxidants.

The researchers studied 563 women with ovarian cancer and 523 healthy women. They found that high carotene intake, especially high alpha-carotene intake, significantly reduced the risk of ovarian cancer. This effect was most apparent in postmenopausal women.

High lycopene intake, which can be achieved by eating heat processed tomato products such as tomato sauce, was also associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. This result was seen most significantly in women who had not yet reached menopause.

The investigators encourage women to get their carotenoids from foods, such as carrots and tomatoes and not from supplements. They advise that women should have at least five carrots and two half-cup servings of tomato sauce per week.

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